Shamutanti Hills… Again, Day 3 and 4 and 5

Yesterday my unskilled and unlucky hero, made it as far as Dhumpus. The villagers are creeped out by my sword, so I gave them a cold shoulder and instead picked up some food. This cost 6 of the 7 gold I have left, so now I can’t afford the inn. That’s fine, I can sleep in the woods.

Bad move.

In the night, I’m attacked by a wolfhound. He tore me up, from a full 17 stamina… to 3. I even had a 8 combat strength to his 7, just crummy rolls. It’s the beginning of day 4 and I’m on the edge of death.

The next day day passes in a few turns of the page, as I skirt a plague-stricken village and make my way without incident to Birritanti. Aside from picking up the unwanted company of a sprite who suppresses magic, it really is 3 turns of the page and I’m here. Now for the insult to go with my injury: I know that the crystal waterfalls would heal me back to full, but I can’t afford it. Nor can I afford to sleep at the inn nor buy food, both of which would heal me. All I can do is walk through the town, camp out, and take what little healing comes from dinner and a tent.

As I walk onward to the next village, I’m pondering the various potential mechanisms of my inevitable doom. Stub my toe? Sleep badly and get a crick in my neck? Get bitten by a mouse? … Or… an assassin! Our brave hero checks his life insurance one last time, then engages in fistcuffs with the ruffian. But what luck! The guy has a glass jaw, and with some great luck I get the first two hits and he surrenders! He pleads that he’s just some street urchin from Khare and that he attacks random folks in the woods just to stay in practice. What a weirdo. The book gives me the guy’s page number in Khare, should I want to look him up again and I dunno, hang out some time?

The day only gets weirder. That afternoon, I’m accosted by a witch who invites me to tea. As is typical small-time tea talk, she asks if I happen to have some torn-out pages from a spell book. In fact I do from way way back at the start of the book, but still that’s a very odd thing to ask someone, right? The up side is that she does me a favor, banishing the annoying little sprite. This unlocks my magical potential again, though I’m wary of using magic at all since I have only 12 stamina.

A bit dizzy from the really weird turn of events, I hit the trail again and make my way to the rather squalid village of Torrepani.

Shamutanti Hills… Again, Day 1 and 2

Before I logged these last two plays, I had played several times. I’ve gotten to the manticore boss fight, starved to death, and been eaten by a werewolf. But this time, I feel lucky!

Wizard. Skill 5. Stamina 17. Luck 8. … Sigh.

Clearly I was chosen not as the hero we need, but as the expendable town idiot that they could send to their death. I wonder if the Crown of Kings even exists!

My first stop in Cantopani is a merchant, so I can buy a +1 sword (yay, skill 6) and some brimberry potion so I can heal myself with DOC later. Inexplicably, the book won’t let me then also buy food, so onward I go.

At the fork in the road, I run into the old man again and he gives me Gaza Moon’s spell book page.  Takes all kinds, am I right? I head left, up the hills, because I know that’s an easier path, and walk until dusk. I have a pleasant meal and sleep soundly overnight.

The next morning, I come across heads on pikes, clearly how the locals communicate “Private Property, No Trespassing” I appreciate and respect that, and head away from it and into the hills. Nearing the top of the mountain, I see a mine being worked by goblins. Interesting.

I sneak into the mine, and turn into a passage, which ends at a door. I FOP the door open, and inside find an ogre running a rock crushing machine. I, our brave hero, leap to the attack, casting a WOK spell to make a magical shield and reducing both of us to an effective Attack Strength of 6. With some lucky rolls, I take only light damage before dispatching the beast (down to 12 Stamina). I can’t help but feel bad, though, that this ogre was working a productive job producing coal and ore for the community… Oh look, loot! I find a couple of gems worth a modicum of money, so see the ogre is helping with a greater cause now: funding my adventure to save the world.

I sneak out of the cave, and make my way past the goblins, and back down the hill. That evening as the sun reaches the horizon, I arrive at the village of Kristatanti.

I head into the tavern to unwind with a mug of ale, and make the acquaintance of a nice old man who gives me a dietary supplement. Sure, why wouldn’t I trust a random stranger handing out fruit? The good news is that the fruit enhances my healing when I eat my next meal, and my next meal is at the inn. Result: I’m back to peak health (17 stamina) by dinner time. After a fitful night’s sleep under the stars, I pick up my kit and hit the road.

I know from prior lives that there’s a witch who lives west of here and that she has phat loot, so I head that way. Yep, there she is locked in a cage. I DOP it open, lose 2 stamina, and am rewarded with an armband of +2 sword mastery. Being a wizard, I should have gone with the reagents but with a 5 Skill, my +1 sword and this armband finally bring me up to “pitiful” level: an 8 basic attack strength.

That witch! Just to feel better about giving away loot, she transforms a chair into a golem and it comes at me! That’s gratitude for you! I throw a HOT at it though, and the thing is instantly wrecked, while I take 4 points of damage. Ow, magic hurts!

As the witch goes to fetch some water before her house burns down, I sneak off into the woods and back onto the trail. Another job well done.

The rest of the day is uneventful walking, to the village of Dhumpus.


Into the Shamutanti Hills – Day 3

Yesterday we started The Shamutanti Hills, the first of a four-book saga. My hero is a wizard of apparently little skill and poor health, but great luck. On my first night outside, I was attacked by a werewolf and knocked down pretty badly, then further weakened by hunger because there wasn’t a chance to stop and eat.  I found some goblins mining and decided to pick a fight, netting myself a silver key and a pair of fur boots, but also bringing me down to 4 stamina. And now I have arrived at the town of Kristatanti, badly in need of significant healing.

It’s a nice town. At the local ale house, I meet an old man who gives me a nutritional supplement which will double my stamina gain at my next meal. I hit up the inn, and although it’s expensive the food and the bed heal me back up to 15 out of my initial 17 Stamina. What a nice place! But  morning comes and it’s time to go.

It’s a quiet and uneventful walk, and I arrive at a gate. A gigantic gate. Like seriously, who would need a gate this large except… giants! I creep into the first cave I see, and sure enough – a giant.  I cast BIG on myself so I am as large as he is, and kick his butt without breaking a sweat because I got to double my Skill for this combat. Oh yeah! That done, I steal his gold and also yank out his teeth for use as magical reagents. (our hero, ladies and gentlemen!) Fortunately he was the only giant in Lea-Ki, The Land of the Giants…

It’s getting dark, so I camp for the night. In the night, another goddamn werewolf attacks me. Through a stupendous series of unlucky rolls, he wrecks me down to 1 Stamina before I get back to sleep. Worse, the book hasn’t let me eat all day, so in the morning I lose 3 Stamina… and starve to death.

I’m surprised I made it as far as I did, for a Skill of 7. But death by hunger, that’s just raw.


Into the Shamutanti Hills – Day 1 and 2

The Sorcery! storyline sounds exciting: four books covering the four geographic areas we will be crossing, to recover a stolen crown that grants leadership and prosperity. I’ve had these books for about two years and for the last few weeks, I have finally been playing them.

The sad reality so far has been quite less exciting: a lot of bordeom walking in the hills from village to village, and only two fights including a boss fight that cannot be won without cheating. But I’m no quitter. So let’s start today’s attempt and see if it gets more interesting.

My wizard’s Skill is a poor 7, Stamina a mediocre 17, and luck at least a solid 12. Ouch. As always, we start with 20 gold and food for 2 days.

My first stop is the village of Cantopani, only a short walk from where I started. Sadly, I have the choice of buying food or else visiting a merchant. I opted for the merchant and picked up a +1 sword for a hefty 11 gold. n my way out of town I am harassed by bandits, and with some very fortunate rolls I killed both of them without even taking a hit (my SK=8 to their SK=7) and I hit the trail.

The evening doesn’t go so well. In the middle of the night I was attacked by a werewolf, and knocked down to 9 stamina. Hunger hits me for 3 more, so I’m down to 6 already.

The next day I make my way up a hill, and find a rather gruesome sight of severed heads on spears, clearly a warning that this is private property. I ignore them and bravely stumble onward, and find myself at a mine being operated by goblins. Interesting! I sneak inside the cave for a look.

My wandering brings me to an office, where a goblin does not attack me immediately, but instead tells me that I’m not allowed here. Well that’s all fine and reasonable, but I’m an adventurer! I bravely hack him down with my sword and steal the silver key from his desk, and move into the next room. It’s a dark passage, but at this point my Stamina is only 4 so casting a light spell would kill me, so I continue along blindly.

Suddenly the roof caves in! I run like the dickens, and fortunately my Luck of 12 saves me from further injury. Eventually I find a point of daylight and fresh air, and make my way to the surface again, putting me into the village of Kristatanti that evening.



Restored and Moving Forward

February 2019 — I’ve decided to change hosting, so I no longer need to limit my database usage, meaning I no longer need to limit my word count.

I’ve reinstated the playthrough blogs section, which I rather enjoyed as reminder of where I have been. Most of that blog-style content was lost because I simply deleted it back when I ran out of space. Fortunately The Wayback Machine had about half of my blog content, so that’s something better than having lost all of it.

Such memories. That damn Snow Witch and her Caverns. My fifteen-day power-through to do the first five Lone Wolf books. That one sci-fi Gamebook Adventure which I did on a camping trip.

Here’s looking forward to many more memories.


Journey of the Kai Marathon, Day Fifteen

We continue with Lone Wolf 5 – Shadow On The Sand. Our peace envoy has gone sour. I made a rather savage jailbreak, leaving a trail of dead bodies behind me, and come across the king selling me to a Darklord. The Darklord aims to put an end to the Kai menace (hey, that’s me!) forever, by destroying the last Kai and the Book of the Magnakai so there can’t be any more Kai.

I doubt it, dude. When I first got the Sommerswerd at the end of book 2, all I had to do was raise the Sommewrswerd and it nuked the Darklord from afar in a rather smashing explosion. So that’s what I do here: raise that sword and… What, I can’t? Why not? Okay, no, the book has other plans.  Whatever.

My name is Obiwan Kenobi. You stole my line. Prepare to die.

Okay, so the Darklord goes into exposition mode and tells us about the fabled Book of the Magnakai. Apparently the Kai monastery where I went, wasn’t very good at their job, because all the good superpowers are in this ancient and long-lost book. With the book, I could become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.

But hey, those are Drakkarim soldiers and a hunting dog, coming down the hall at me! I take the brave and yet sensible course of action: I run. i run and I run, and thanks some some lucky rolls and Mind Over Matter, eventually I lose them. I take a breather and look down from a rooftop, to see the aviary and landing platform where the Vassagonian soldiers handle their giant birds (flying birds in war? awesome!).

Time for some G.T.A. — Grand Theft Avian. Awww yeah!

Journey of the Kai Marathon, Day Fourteen

The power playthrough of the first 5 Lone Wolf books continues. Lone Wolf has become so overpowered that Chasm of Doom was a cake walk, with only minimal combat and never dropping below 20 endurance points. And now, time for Shadow On The Sand.

Lone Wolf has a base CS of 17. Add the Sommerswerd +8, a shield and helmet for +2 and +2, weaponskill with swords for +2, and mindblast for +2 more most times… and that’s 33. Compared to most bandits and monsters having 20 or so, most battles are done in 2 or 3 hits.

The Healing skill is pretty overpowered as well, and I have a backpack full of enough laumspur to come back from the edge of death.

So, let’s start.

In Chasm of Doom, a warlord named Baraka came across the sea from Vassagonia. He besieged, enslaved, and killed most of the barony of Ruanon, then tried to perform a ritual to raise a legion of undead Darklords so he could take over the world.

In book 5, the king is sending me overseas to Vassagonia. We’re gonna kick ass, wipe them off the planet and rid the world of the menace forev…  no? Really? Oh, that’s cool — the king of Vassagonia apologized profusely, and condemned this unsanctioned rogue action. I’m being sent overseas to sign the formal peace treaty. Isn’t that nice of everybody?

Problem is, that king died while we were en route.

As I step off the boat, we are attacked by the security team of the new king. My escorts are instantly killed, and I kill one guard before I’m slapped with a sleep-dart, and I wake up in jail. Damn.

Fortunately my jailers have never watched TV, and they fall for the oldest trick in the book: I hide in a corner, they walk in to investigate, I jump both of them. I get ripped up a bit in the scuffle, but come out of it with two dead guards, a sword, and some keys.

I make my way down a hall and brutally kill another guard. I’m the freakin’ angel of death! This room is the armory, and I find a door combination and some weapons… but not my stuff. Further down the hall, I find a chest with a snake living in it (of course! but how does that happen?) but again not my stuff. The third door… has my stuff. And now I’m the insanely OP Lone Wolf who will wreak a bloody vengeance upon this land.

I kake my way into the nicer parts of the royal palace, out of the jails and basements and into the arboretum, and into… the throne room. Where I find the king in a heated discussion with a Darklord.

About his newly acquired prisoner, Lone Wolf the last of the Kai. I’d hate to be that guy.

Oh hell.


Journey of the Kai Marathon, Day Thirteen

Lone Wolf, The Chasm of Doom — Finale

The trip from Ruanon to Maaken was easy, just a couple of page-turns and one band of bandits who didn’t see me. Now that I’m at the Maakengorge, I have to find the temple and stop Baraka from a human sacrifice.

I see a guarded door, and an unguarded set of stairs. I use my Camouflage skill and hang out by the door, until I overhear a guard say the password out loud. That password gets me through their security, and the book doesn’t even ask if I remember it. Thanks, guy!

I walk down some stairs and find myself overlooking the temple. Just like that, no dungeon crawl or anything! And there he is, the big bad himself. I shout my battle cry “Get your hands off her, you damn dirty ape!” and move in for the attack.

I’ve mentioned before that the Sommerswerd is hugely O.P. right? Yeah, I take 4 points of damage and kill Barraka in 3 hits. And that’s it: turn to 350.

Vashna remains imprisoned, I have the dagger that can free him, the princess is saved, roll credits.

Journey of the Kai Marathon, Day Twelve

We’re continuing Lone Wolf, book 4 – The Chasm of Doom.

I was sent in search of a missing platoon of soldiers and a missing wagon full of gold. I found the city of Ruanon in ruins, under siege by a warlord who intends to make a human sacrifice to raise an army of undead Darklords.

But the first order of business, is that the city is under attack!

It’s a blur of battle. Flaming balls from catapults and from wizards. Archers and foot soldiers. A couple of fights for me, but with an effective CS of 33 I rip through them faster than I can read the narrative. And victory is ours!

Now, to make my way 50 miles to the Maakengorge, a canyon where the Darklords were defeated a zillion years ago, and the site of the intended sacrifice. Fortunately, this is a quick and easy trip since the enemy was routed and scattered in the battle. I run into a single ragtag group of “bandits” who don’t even see me as they go by, and am in the gorge the next day.

Journey of the Kai Marathon, Day Eleven

We continue The Chasm of Doom, in which I’m looking for the bandits who stole a royal shipment of gold. I had 50 rangers at my command yesterday, but 40 are walking home, 2 are dead, and 8 turned tail and fled when we were attacked by a legion of unusually well-armed and well-trained bandits.

Now I’m back in my native Fighting Fantasy environment: a solo adventurer, crawling through mines.

But I should point out, that I have the mines mapped out and know the shortest route. Only three pages later, I can see the exit from the mines, and with a little help from one of the slaves I’m off into the woods two pages later. And down below, I see the city of Ruanon. The local lord is there, and soldiers, and maybe answers.

Or, maybe the city has been burned down, and the remaining center of the city is under siege by a mix of bandits and armed, trained soldiers dressed as bandits.

There’s no combat, though: just running, and some random rolls. In a glorious cutscene, I’m terrorized by hunting dogs and a sniper, and am saved by Captain D’Val who isn’t dead after all!

It’s a sad scene here in Ruanon. Most of the population is dead or enslaved, the rest have been besieged for over a month. The bandits are indeed not bandits at all, but soldiers of a warlord named Barraka. The local baron has completely snapped under the strain and horror of seeing his land and people destroyed and his family killed. And it gets weirder: Barraka kidnapped the baron’s daughter as a human sacrifice to raise a legion of undead Darklords according to a prophecy.

Well, crud. The mission has changed.


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