Starving in the Caverns of Kalte

I missed my old character. A 19 combat goes a long way. But seriously bad luck went far as well, and he is now a Kai-sicle floating in in an underground river.

I started by rolling up a new character for Caverns of Kalte. A 14 combat is mediocre, but after the last play where I barely made it to the Caverns with a 19 and my +8 Sommerswerd, I am not feeling optimistic. I make my character into the warrior-tank type with mindblast and a weaponskill (and weapon) and a shield.

I feel like that guy playing Oregon Trail, who buys 30 guns and no food nor blankets.

Our ship goes off course, and we take off across the plains toward the fortress. We encounter the local yeti equivalent, and I get torn up badly with some truly unfortunate dice rolls. We meet up with a native scouting party and I get torn up again. Their scores don’t even seem that tough, but I’m rolling 1s and 2s here!

A little frostbite layer and I find my way to the cave and into the Caverns… with only 1 endurance remaining!

This time I jump across the icy river just fine, and am asked to eat a Meal or lose 3 endurance. Well crud… Starved to death.

Fire On The Water… Extinguished

Finally, after many tries, I completed Fire On The Water, book number 2 of the Lone Wolf series. I rolled up a new character who had a combat skill of 19, which really improves the odds during combat!

This time, I knew right where to go. Pack extra food instead of a shield (having a 19 affords me that luxury). Skip the fishermen rescue, pick a fight with a would-be assassin at the inn, … and be sure to take the path to Port Bax which gets a Magic Spear or else you’ll die in the Tarnalin tunnel.

From there, it’s basically home free. A cut scene to the Sommerswerd, and home to a battle against an enemy navy.

The Sommerswerd gives +8 to your combat skill (and stacks with your +2 weaponskill with swords, if that’s your thing) and does double damage against undead. Did I mention that navy? Did I mention that it’s a navy… of zombies? The Sommerswerd cuts them down like a lawnmower on grass.

Then we’re treated to the Sommerswerd nuking the invading hordes with explosive beams of cleaning magical light, and the hordes of nasties scattering back to Mordor for another century. Hail to the king, baby!

Two Deaths in One Hour

Fire on the Water is just tearing me up. Two playthroughs in the last hour, both very doomed to near-immediate failure.

Play One

I rolled a combat skill of 10, and 27 endurance. This means that when I encountered the ruffian on page 1, I got ripped all the way down to 9 endurance.

The journey by ship went uneventfully, until the big storm and the swim to shore. I flagged down that fishing boat again and got robbed again. Yeah, I really shouldn’t have done that. I wandered around Ragadorn mapping out the place, lost the last of my money at the gambling house, and had to stow away on the coach to Port Bax.

We made it as far as the inn, before the innkeeper turned me away for not having a coach ticket. I slept in the hayloft, and was murdered in my sleep.

Play Two

Again a 10 combat and 27 endurance. Again, I got beaten down pretty savagely by that imposter on page 1. Get on the Green Scepter, running to pirates, and I’m cut down in short order.

I think that play through was seven pages. A new record.

I did mention that Flight From The Dark was suspiciously easy. This one, proving to be more of a challenge.

Fire On The Water: Shortest Offensive Of All Time

So, my previous character finally got killed after a very good run through the first book and into Port Bax in this book. I rolled up a new one, starting here in book 2. Compared to my previous fella, this means:

  • Only the starting set of 5 superpowers, and not 6
  • 10+d10 gold, instead of the 40 from last time
  • A randomly-selected weapon skill, for the axe which is not a weapon stocked by the quartermaster
  • Two meals of food, in lieu of a second item
  • 20 endurance and 14 combat, contrasted with my prior 26 and 19

Yeah, thanks to a very stingy quartermaster who won’t even stuff my backpack with tempeh sandwiches, let alone let me have an axe and a shield, I decided to name him Sir Not Long For This World.

Off we go!

I meet Ronan and beat him down, and make my way onto the Green Scepter. The journey is, as usual, random rolls: we see a pirate ship and outrun it, there’s a fire, the storm wrecks the ship and I swim.

This time, I get picked up by some fishermen… who rob me. I am now in a completely different Ragadorn that on my prior playthroughs! (neat!) I need the Seal of Hammerdal, and I know that I need at least 25 gold for the coach to Port Bax. I find their boat and a mace (I’m not skilled, but it’s a weapon) and a matchbook for their tavern of choice. I find the louts and recover the Seal from one of them who got drunk and knocked himself out on a curb… but my sixth sense tells me that any further night-time skylarkings would be a bad move, so back to bed.

In the morning, I am some 20 gold short of being able to afford the coach to Port Bax — so I take up gambling for a while. It was touch-and-go and a bit hair-raising at times, but it worked out and eventually I got to buy my ticket and rejoin my previous adventure.

As before, we arrive at an inn and someone buys me a poisoned dinner. I bust downstairs to kick their butt… and realize that with a non-proficient weapon, no shield, and a 14 combat I’m outmatched! I get knocked from 20 endurance to 1 before I sneak out the back door, steal a horse, … and starve to death the next day.

An ignominious end for our brave hero!


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