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[Let's Play] Blood Sword IV - Doomwalk
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:00 pm    Post subject: [Let's Play] Blood Sword IV - Doomwalk Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Welcome everyone to the next episode of Blood Sword: Doomwalk!



You guys know the drill by now (I hope), and no additional rules have been added. I'll just quickly run through the few things we should know to start...

First, the back cover synopsis:

Quote:
Of all your adventures, this is the most desperate - and the most vital. Only two years remain before the year 1000, when the Magi's power will have waxed full and the moment of their reincarnation will be at hand! All is not lost: if you can recover the fragments of the Blood Sword, the Magi can be oppose. But to do so, you must travel to the land of Death...

As you set off on your journey, you know there will be many terrors and wonders to be faced. You must penetrate to the very heart of the Netherworld and plead your case before Death himself.

Can you survive the perils of the Sea of Mists? How will you fare against Typhon the Giant? Can you face the Feasting Dead? Or track down Entasius the Magician?

Can you endure the Doomwalk....?


This book also include a "Story So Far" section:

Quote:
Your life of carefree adventuring was changed forever when you met an old harpist in the hills of Krarth. As he lay dying after a murderous attack, he told you of the five entities known as the True Magi and their plans to return to the world at the end of the millennium. He made you swear to take on his quest to recover the fragments of the Sword of Life - the Blood Sword - as it is only by restoring this ancient weapon that the Magi can be opposed.

Just as the Magi's agents had slain the harpist, now they directed their malice against you. Battling against terrible odds, you finally succeeded in restoring the Blood Sword - only to have it stolen from you at the moment of his descent into Sheol by your arch-enemy Icon of Yamato.

Only two years remain before the year 1000, when the Magi's power will have waxed full and the moment of their reincarnation will be at hand. Fatima, a sorceress whom you befriended, tells you that all is not lost; you can still retrieve the Blood Sword.

But to do so you must travel to the land of Death ...


Our successful completion of the last book means that our characters have all advanced to 5th rank. Here are the resulting "improvements" to their stats:

Warrior:
Damage: +1
Endurance: +6

Trickster:
Damage: raised to 2 Dice
Endurance: +6

Sage:
Damage: raised to 2 Dice
Endurance: +5

Enchanter:
Awareness: +1
Damage: +1
Endurance: +5

Unlike the previous two books, the story of this one continues immediately after the previous....so, no changes to equipment at all (except we lost the Blood Sword, of course), and no increase in money.

As always, the book comes with its own map...

Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


.......and its own Glossary:

Quote:
Azrael -- An archangel who is the personification of Death. He rules the country of Sheol. Other times and other cultures have called him by various names, including Pluto, Hades, Arawn and Osiris.

Blue Moon -- One of the Spirits of the Magi, the others being White Light, Red Death, Gift Star and Plague Star. In astrology, Blue Moon stands for Mystery, Paradox, Illusion; also the boundary between Life and Death, and hence it can represent wisdom.

the Blasting -- The demon-spawned disaster in which Spyte was laid to ruin and the True Magi were killed. After this holocaust, which lasted for three days and nights, Spyte was left isolated by a deep chasm which many believe goes right down to the fires of Hell.

the Blood Sword -- The Sword of Life. One of a pair of ancient swords created by the Archangel Abdiel as icons of the parting of Life and Death. It was broken into several parts but has now been restored. The only artefact capable of conquering the power of the True Magi, it was stolen by Icon and is now somewhere in Sheol.

the Coradian Sea -- The sea around whose shores are located the richest ports and cities of the world. Also used as a collective adjective for the countries of the True Faith - Algandy, Chaubrette, Kurland, the New Selentine Empire, Asmuly and Emphidor - surrounding this sea.

the Death Focus -- A shaft leading directly from Legend to the hinterlands of Sheol. Icon of Yamato fell into this shaft, but used magic to snatch the Blood Sword so that he could carry it down with him.

Ferromaine -- The richest port on the Coradian coast.

Gift Star -- One of the Spirits of the Magi, the others being White Light, Red Death, Plague Star and Blue Moon. The significance of Gift Star in astrology is as a symbol of Luck (both good and bad) and the Oracle.

Icon -- Lord Aiken of the Sugensiki family of Utayama Province in Yamato. He was a warlock with a fearsome reputation, but was cast down into Sheol via the Death Focus shortly after the recover of the Blood Sword. The name 'Icon' is merely a result of catachresis; his real name, Aiken, has a meaning roughly equivalent to 'Sharp of Spirit'.

Krarth -- A large country in the far north of Legend, divided into several dozen separate states each of which is ruled over by a Magus. It is divided from the civilised lands around the Coradian Sea by a deep rift valley which cuts through the Coradian continent from eastern to western shore. A cold and inhospitable country, full of ancient and xenophobic traditions, Krarth is avoided by most merchants from other lands.

Legend -- The mortal world; Midgard, or Middle-Earth.

the Magi -- The lords of Krarth. There are some thirty Magi, each essentially a local despot with absolute dominion over his territories. Since the country cannot support a standing army of any size, disputes are settled by means of the Battlepits contest - and sometimes by assassination.

Outremer -- [pronouned oo-tre mair] The Principalities of the Crusade, being those areas of Ta'ashim territory which have been captured by the armies of the True Faith.

Plague Star -- One of the Spirits of the Magi, the others being White Light, Red Death, Gift Star and Blue Moon. Seen in astrology as indicative of Illness, Plague Star is interpreted in another sense as the decay and corruption that will inevitably follow any act of creation.

Red Death -- One of the Spirits of the Magi, the others being White Light, Gift Star, Plague Star and Blue Moon. In astrology, Red Death is generally taken as the symbol of wanton Carnage and Terror. Others see it as Conflict in a general sense - perhaps within an individual's psyche - which, if resolved, leads to enlightenment.

Selentium -- The capital of the Old Selentine Empire which once took in most of the western world. After the fall of the Old Empire seven hundred years ago, Selentium has risen to a new importance as the centre of the True Faith.

Sheol -- The Afterworld, where souls go when they die. It is overseen by Death.

the Spirits of the Magi -- Five small luminous objects which are sometimes visible in the northern skies at night. Each appears about a fifth the size of the moon's face. According to the popular superstition of Krarth, these objects are the apotheosised spirits of the five greatest wizards among the True Magi. They appear frequently in folk tales (usually as malevolent entities constantly plotting and dreaming of their return to the land of men). Less sinisterly, they are potent symbols in astrology.

Spyte -- The 'holy city' of the True Magi, who convened there every seven years in order to commune with the gods of Krarth. Today it stands in ruin, atop a pinnacle of rock in the middle of a vast rift in the earth ('the Cauldron').

Ta'ashim -- The name given to the religion and peoples of the southern lands, in the area that was once the empire of Kaikuhuru. The countries of Ta'ashim are Marazid, Zhenir, Harogarn and Opalar.

the True Faith -- The principal religion of modern Legend.

the True Magi -- The original rulers of Krarth, wizards of unimaginable power, who were all slain in the Blasting of Spyte centuries ago. The present Magi are for the most part the descendants of seneschals or apprentices who seized power in the ensuing confusion.

White Light -- One of the Spirits of the Magi, the others being Red Death, Gift Star, Plague Star and Blue Moon. The meaning of White Light in astrological terms is as Knowledge and Consciousness - absolute and positive action which brings about permanent change.


....and that's basically it, really. We're ready to begin, picking up right where we left off at the end of the last book:

Quote:
Fatima leads you through the garden to a pavilion where silk-clad servants provide you with food and drink. For a short while you are able to relax, listening to the songbirds in the trees. The sun rises higher, scorching the dew from the grass and raising a sultry fragrance from Fatima's exotic flowers.

But even in this idyllic setting, you cannot forget the urgency of your quest. When you speak of this to your hostess, she sends the servants to fetch new equipment for you. Any player who needs new arrows, weapons or armour can re-equip from the selection she provides.

'I have another gift for you,' she says, lifting a jar of scented oil. This is an ointment of healing - a magical preparation that soothes and cures the pains of battle.'

If any player is wounded, Fatima rubs some of the oil into his or her wounds which then miraculously disappear. All players can restore their Endurance scores to maximum.

There is enough oil left in the jar for ten applications, and each application will hear two Dice of Endurance. Note down on your Character Sheet that you have the jar.

'And now,' Fatima says, rising to her feet, 'it is time for you to depart.'


That's nice. And the Sage and Trickster can refill their empty quivers.

I'll give the ointment to the Warrior unless there are objections. She has the most slots due to not having to lug the pieces of Blood Sword around. Besides, she'll probably be the guy doing the tanking in battles.

Quote:
Fatima takes you to one of the many gates leading from her hidden garden. You have seen enough of her magic by now not to be surprised when she tells you that this gate leads to the city of Crescentium, which you left only a few days ago.

'You must charter a ship to take you north and west to the island of Entasius,' she says. 'He is a wizard of some repute, and he will be able to tell you how to reach the realm of Death.'

'What about the Death Focus?' you ask. 'Surely that leads straight there.'

Fatima shakes her head. 'Of course, but you cannot follow your enemy into Death's heartland by the same route that he took. It is easy enough to die, after all, but you will wish to return to the mortal world once you have retrieved the Sword of Life. Only Entasius can tell you how to accomplish that.'

She swings the gate open and bids you farewell. Thanking her for her help, you step through and emerge on a side street off the main plaza in Crescentium.

If you wish to visit the physician Emeritus, turn to 193. If you have met Tobias de Vantery and wish to call on him, turn to 432. If you decide to see about chartering a ship straight away, turn to 45.


That Tobias guy would be the commander of the Capellars (the Warrior's contacts at the beginning of the last book). Since we didn't choose to meet them last book, we have no access to that option here.

Do we want to go see our physician friend again?

Adventure Sheet:

WARRIOR:
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


TRICKSTER:
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


SAGE:
Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


ENCHANTER:
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Last edited by SGamerz on Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I see no reason not to visit him.
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Starmaker
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There go my hopes for a bonus to Awareness.

edit:
Doomwalk wrote:
catachresis
But I learned a new word, so at least that's something.

Visit Emeritus.


Last edited by Starmaker on Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Emeritus is delighted to see you safe and well, but he listens morosely as you tell him the events of the past week. 'So now you must descend into the realm of the Angel of Death - the land of Sheol,' he says. 'Ah, that Icon has wreaked a final bitter revenge on you, for you must know that your chance of returning is slim indeed.'

'Be of good heart,' you say to him. 'If no thought of failure is ever entertained, the quest must certainly succeed.'

'I admire your resolution,' says Emeritus with a slight smile. 'Your logic, however, I can only deplore!'

You laugh. 'Well, what can you remember about Sheol? It is best to go against the enemy forewarned.'

'Then let us go straightaway to my library.' He leads you to a room containing nearly a hundred tomes and many scrolls. It is surely one of the largest private libraries in Outremer. Poring over these, Emeritus selects a faded parchment and tilts it in a shaft of sunlight to read.

'Death is the brother of Sleep,' he says, 'and in myth they are respectively the son and daughter of Night. Sheol, which is Death's kingdom, can be reached from certain points in the mortal world where the barrier between life and death is weak. But I have no idea where such a place could be found.'

You look along the rows of books and at the heaps of dusty scrolls. You cannot afford to waste too much time before setting out on your quest - but there could be information here that might prove vital.

If you depart at once, turn to 152. If you decide to spend some time in the library, turn to 401.


Too bad he hasn't upgraded his library to include internet system. That would have saved some time.

Do we want to spend some time reading?
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yes, we have a reader on the team, let's use him.
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Starmaker
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I don't like the apparent suggestion of some sort of time limit. We've got two years, surely we can afford to research for as long as we want?

Do research anyway. Let's trust the book to be fair and complain if/when it isn't.
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Research.
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Shiritai
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hit the books. Hopefully the mention of time is just to scare us.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Emeritus agrees to help you with your research. 'But it is a large library and there may be a need for urgency,' he says, spreading his hands to indicate the sheer magnitude of the task. 'What shall we look for?

If you suggest finding out about Entasius, turn to 507. If you want to know all you can about Sheol, turn to 519. If you look for references to Death himself, turn to 429.


What do we read about?
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Starmaker
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Solving problems in order worked out well last time, so read about Entasius.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Agreed.
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Shiritai
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm fine with either Entasius or Death; gotta figure out our bargaining positions.

That's also my new battle cry: "Entasius or Death!"


Last edited by Shiritai on Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Entasius it is:

Quote:
You spend hours looking through volume after volume, straining your eyes to decipher the ancient faded calligraphy. At last Emeritus finds a useful reference in the Codex Magica.

'Entasius was a patrician of old Selentium,' he says, 'who fell in love with a woman of the plebeian class. Since they could not legally be together, they arranged to leave the Empire and go to an island in the western sea. This is going back hundreds of years, of course, but it must have been after the year 310 when the Lex Canulia was repealed. Anyway, on the night they were due to set out, Entasius' lover was apprehended and slain by certain of his enemies. Entasius waited all night for her, then departed with the dawn - presumably by means of sorcery, for he was a renowned wizard. Selentium was sacked a few years after that by the Kotic Horde.'

It is now late in the afternoon. If you continue your research turn to 23. If you decide to call it a day, turn to 367.


Continue reading?
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Assuming "continue our research" means "read up on the other two things" then by all means continue.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Continue reading.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
If you continue checking the references to Entasius, turn to 522. If you look up information about Sheol, turn to 519. If you want to find out about Death himself, turn to 429.


"read up on the other two things" or read more on the same topic?
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

While I said check the other two things I'm now suspecting that the author will reward us for persistence so keep on reading about Entasius.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Darth Rabbitt wrote:
While I said check the other two things I'm now suspecting that the author will reward us for persistence so keep on reading about Entasius.
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Shiritai
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hmm, the references to Sheol and Death are the same as when we first started; we may be able to check those out without penalty. So, one vote for Death.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
According to the adventurer Simochus of Amatine, Entasius still lives. In his book My Voyages, Simochus describes a visit to an island in the far west beyond the Sea of Mists, where he was made welcome by the wizard until he tried to steal the letter's secret of immortality. Then he was forced to flee and, as he notes wryly in his book: 'Despite being many hundreds of years old, Entasius the magician still commands great power. He stood on the shore of his island and with hortatory gestures impelled the spirits of the air to pursue our ship. We were in the grip of an ungodly storm for five days. I believe that if the wizard had not intended merely to affright us for our cupidity, we would now lie thirty fathoms deep.'

'In fact he does anyway,' says Emeritus with an ironic smiles. 'Simochus' ship was lost at sea a few years after he wrote this book.'

You decide to give up your search of the library, as it is late.


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Quote:
'That is wise,' says Emeritus. 'You need rest after your recent adventures. Tomorrow we can decide the best way for you to set about the next phase of your quest.'

You realise that you are mortally tired. Thanking him for his help, you go with his servants to a bedchamber that has been prepared for you, and there fall immediately into sleep.


Quote:
You awaken refreshed and fall ravenously on the breakfast that Emeritus has prepared for you. 'Pray excuse the lapse in table manners,' you say to him between mouthfuls. 'In a life of adventuring, one can never be sure when and where one will get the next meal. Or what it will consist of!'

He gives a wave of his hand. 'Please - eat your fill. We can talk after breakfast.'

Each wounded player recovers Endurance points equal to 1 plus half his rank (rounding fractions up).


No one is hurt yet, though.

Quote:
Emeritus offers you provisions for your journey if you have need of them. Each player can take a week's supply of salt beef, nuts, biscuits and dried fruit. One week's rations for one person count as a single item for encumbrance purposes.

'Apart from this I can give you little aid,' he says. 'I do not charge my patients, so I am far from being a rich man. However, it may be worth your while to seek out the captain of a ship named the Providence. I once cured him of the ague, so he may be willing to do you a favour.'

'Emeritus, you are a good man,' you say. 'Your help has been invaluable.' Taking up your belongings, you bid him farewell and set off towards the harbor.


We don't really need any of the food since we have our awesome magic bread crust (and the Enchanter still carries Iron rations that we purchased in Book 2), but if anyone want to spend extra equipment slots for the free food, let me know how much you wish to take.

Quote:
If you have already arranged for a ship to take you to Entasius's island, turn to 445. If you have yet to see about chartering a ship, turn to 45.


Not yet.

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Quote:
The smells of salt-spray, hemp and tar fill your nostrils as you walk along the quay looking for a suitable ship. A young pilgrim who is walking past notices your indecision and comes over to talk to you.

'Good morning,' he says. 'Are you also travelling aboard the Providence?'

'No,' you say. 'A pilgrim vessel, is it?'

He nods. 'Aye, bound for Ellesland where we can return to our homes and regale our families with accounts of the pilgrimage. Ah, what a joyous time it has been for us! How my family will sigh when I tell them the wonders of the Holy Land.'

'The "wonders" of the Holy Land are greed, venality and bloody way,' you reply curtly. 'The captain of this vessel - would he prepared to divert his course, would you say? To return to Ellesland by way of a certain island close to the Sea of Mists?'

The young man throws up his hands. 'And place all our lives in peril? Of course not!' He crosses himself and hurries away towards the Providence.

You look around. There is another ship that might serve your purpose: the Golden Lance, a merchant cog.

If you go aboard the Providence, turn to 291. If you try the Golden Lance, turn to 486.


Which ship do we prefer?


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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Being a merchant, the captain of the Golden Lance can probably be convinced to go to our destination by means of cold, hard cash. Which we have a lot of. Let's go with them.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yep, let's try to do it with as little fuss as possible. Pilgrims are bad news.
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2015 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm surprised more people don't want to take advantage of Emeritus' tip, but I support not endangering pilgrims.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

angelfromanotherpin wrote:
I'm surprised more people don't want to take advantage of Emeritus' tip.


Yeah, me too. Rarely do players ignore a hint from a friendly NPC.

Quote:
Captain Silthor is a large man who emerges impatiently from his cabin when the deckhand tells him you wish to come aboard. As he listens to what you have to say, his broad face settles into an expression halfway between a sneer and a frown.

'In two days' time I intend to set sail for Ferromaine. I have a cargo to sell there, and the longer I delay the more money I will lose. Now you ask me to disrupt my schedule by several weeks in order to convey you to a mysterious island in the Sea of Mists! What compensation can I expect?' He leans forward and narrows his eyes. 'What's it worth?'

After some intense bargaining, you get him to agree to take you where you want to go in exchange for two hundred and fifty gold pieces.

'Return tomorrow with the money,' he says. 'We sail at dawn.'


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Quote:
If you do not have the money that you need to charter the ship as far as Entasius's island, turn to 175. If you are able to pay the sum that you have just agreed with the captain, turn to 179.


We have almost 300 gold, so that's more than enough.....although I do wonder if it's a mistake by the author, since there's no way a Solo player could have carried more than 100 in his pouch! (I guess he could have carried, multiple pouches, but I'm not sure most would have thought of doing that, given how little opportunity we've had to spend them in previous books)

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You while away the rest of the day in the bazaar, watching acts of sword swallowing, fire breathing and juggling, and listening with interest to a storyteller. He is well into the famous tale of Simbar the mariner, but as he gets to the part where Simbar is swallowed by a giant fish his tale is interrupted by the call to prayer. 'Pity poor Simbar,' he says to his audience. 'There in the fish's belly, how is he to know which direction to bow to the Holy City?' There is a ripple of laughter. 'Be here tomorrow!' he cries as the crowd moves away. 'Be with Simbar as he is spat out by the Dendan and washed onto the beach of Nephele! Witness his swordplay and derring-do against the Ancient One of the Sea! Gasp with him at his love for the beauteous Princess Liabla!'

The crowd applaud this virtuoso finale and shower the storyteller with coins. Meanwhile, you slip away to find somewhere to spend the night.


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You search for a comfortable-looking inn not far from the waterfront and soon find one called The Heart of the Sunrise. Well, you are used to the whimsical names of Crescentium hostels by now. You push the door open and step inside.

The babble of voices dies away as you enter, and all eyes turn to watch you. A locals' place, obviously. You cross to a table and sit down, loudly calling for the landlord. The other patrons devote a few moments more to their sullen stares, then turn away. Gradually the din of laughter, conversation and banter returns.

The landlord is an Erewornian with large rings in his ears. He strokes his long moustaches and recites the tariff to you. 'I have only one private room, but it is the richly appointed Azure Chamber, which enjoys a prestigious reputation throughout the city.'

'Expensive, in other words,' you grunt in reply. 'A mat on the commonroom floor will do. Now, bring bread, hot stew and a pitcher of wine.'

'Do not be hasty,' says the landlord. 'Will you not give the Azure Chamber more careful consideration? At a very reasonable ten crowns a night, it represents extraordinary value. Moreover, it cannot have escaped your notice that most of my clientele are rogues of the blackest sort. Sleep in the commonroom, and who can guarantee you won't wake to find a dagger in your ribs?'

The others have stopped talking again to listen in on your discussion with the landlord. You return their stares with a menacing squint.

If you decide to take the private room, pay the landlord ten gold pieces and turn to 464. If you want to sleep here in the commonroom, turn to 388.


We had 286 before. We need 250 for the ship. That leaves us 36 to spare, so we can afford it. Do we want to take the private room?
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angelfromanotherpin
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Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The landlord talks like a con-man out of the Dying Earth; definitely do not listen to him. A mat on the common room floor will do. As a woman of near-literal iron, Caecilia fears no low-grade cutthroat.
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