The Trickster strikes quickly with his magical blade, the blow glancing off Icon's iconic armour (sorry). Retributive Fire burns the Trickster for 1 Damage.
The Warlock is still picking on the Enchanter, rolling a 7 and 5, inflicting 5 Damage.
The Sage moves next to the Warlock and strikes a defensive pose to hopefully ward off the Warlock's attack. Unfortunately, Icon has already acted due to a higher initiative...
At the same time as the Sage closes in, a huge sword shaped blast erupts from the Enchanter's hands, piercing Icon's armour and inflicting a whopping 10 Damage. Icon has been defeated!
End of Round Enchanter Endurance 6
Wow, pretty surprised at how you three pulled that one off! When you said your bringing Ghastly Touch to mind, I almost spat out my coffee! It is like one of the worst spells in the book, particularly against Icon! Anyway nice work so far, almost through the first book, don't know if you will make it through the final area though...
You deal the death-stroke, but amazingly Icon does not fall! He reaches down, ashen face contorted in pain, and pulls the weapon out of the wound. 'My magic shall sustain me until I have time to heal,' he groans, forcing each word through a snarl of pain. 'But I must retreat to lick my wounds, and so you have prevented me from reaching the Emblem of Victory. Be warned that Icon remembers his foes ...'
Glaring coldly at you as blood trickles from his mouth, he spits the words of power of a spell and transforms himself into a red mist, quickly seeping away across the cave floor. No doubt you will be meeting him again, you think ruefully.
One item he was carrying was not transformed by the Vaporisation spell: a bronze mallet. If you want this, remember to note it down. Glancing towards the atoll, you see no sign of any other parties. Nothing now can stop you winning the contest!
Turn to 68.
You approach a remarkable sight. A large basalt platform hangs suspended in the air, apparently unsupported, fifty metres above the cavern floor. On the ground directly underneath it stands a bronze gong.
If you took the bronze mallet that Icon was carrying and wish to use it now, turn to 508. If you would rather head straight for the Emblem of Victory, turn to 238.
How exactly did Icon manage to extract a blast of sorcerous energy from his body?
If we can get back to full health (I'll eat a portion of the food that was in my pack), and the Enchanter calls something properly lethal to mind, use the mallet. Two of us have Healing Scroll-shaped gaps in our inventories, so carrying capacity won't have been a problem.
Post by thealmightymudworm on Nov 28, 2015 0:33:24 GMT
OK, so I think that I get two chances to heal here?
First I'll gamble 2 End points. *Rolls 4* So I'll retain 2 and pass the other 2 onto the Enchanter Second I'll gamble 1 point *Rolls 5* ...and again that's 2 of the available points to the Enchanter
(If I've misunderstood and only get to do the first roll, I'll chuck 3 points the Enchanter's way, retaining just 1 for myself, and join the Trickster for a matey picnic to get me back to rude health.)
Post by thealmightymudworm on Nov 28, 2015 0:54:47 GMT
I also favour using the mallet.
Icon doesn't strike me as someone who carries things without knowing they're useful, and if it were him setting a trap it would be unlikely to involve flying basalt, so this is likely to be either beneficial or (more likely) a necessary evil.
You strike the gong with the mallet. It produces a deep note whose resonance is cut short by a Teleportation spell that conveys you to the basalt platform. A large jewelled sarcophagus occupies the middle of the platform, and in the gloom you can see an old man walking towards you from it. The flickering streams of phosphorescent sewage which leak through the cavern roof show clearly through his ethereal body. Not a living man at all, then. It lifts its ghostly hands - but in a gesture of greeting or of attack ...?
If there is a Sage in the party who wishes to try to Exorcise it, turn to 182. If you want to talk to it, turn to 509.
The ghost speaks to you with a voice reaching across a thousand years of history. 'In life I was Magus Zyn,' it says. 'I was mightiest of the True Magi, and would have ruled over all, but petty jealousies among my peers brought about my downfall. The fools slew my servant, the giant Skrymir, and though they had not the power to destroy me utterly they yet imprisoned me here. And here I have lain for ten centuries. Ten centuries! They have passed like the slow tread of Leviathan, like the measured rumble of the gods as they snore beneath Spyte ... Ten centuries to plot and scheme. Now my plans for vengeance come to fruition - but I need your help to execute my plan. What say you?'
If you agree to help Zyn's ghost, turn to 116. If you refuse, turn to 378.
By the way, yes your healing is correct Sage. At the moment the only one that appears injured is the Enchanter, with 10/11 Endurance.
Post by thealmightymudworm on Dec 1, 2015 15:10:44 GMT
This is a tricky one. It might be difficult to stop Zyn's rampage once he gets started - but on the other hand it's not immediately clear how we get back down from this flying rock so perhaps it's not the time to be making enemies.
Um - agree for now?
(On the plus side perhaps he could read us some of the rock squiggles.)
'Ah, it is well,' says the ghost with a misty, emotionless smile. 'The loyal servants of Zyn shall share in his glory, and I shall reward you above all others.' It passes its hands over the sarcophagus lid, which slowly rises into the air. You look upon a mouldered skeleton that clutches a lump of granite in its broken fingers.
'My mortal form ...' says the ghost wistfully. 'So long since I could taste the musky wines of Asmuly or feel a scented breeze from off the meadows ... Take the stone! Take it quickly! I wish to wallow no longer in the memory of things lost to me.'
You have no choice but to comply. Your agreement to aid the ghost has bereft you of any power to oppose him. You take the lump of granite from the skeleton's hands, and the sarcophagus slowly closes again.
You see that you hold a fossilised heart. 'It is the heart of the giant Skrymir,' explains the ghost. 'He was destroyed by the True Magi, but he shall be my instrument of vengeance against their heirs, these mewling modern magi who have usurped the ancient grandeur ...' He flickers and seems to grow larger and more tenebrous for a moment, then settles down into a cold hard radiance. 'Go towards the atoll. I have no interest in this petty contest; it is of no concern to me whether you take the Emblem of Victory or not. Do so if you wish. However, on your way to the Emblem at the summit, you will pass through chambers where the sundered fragments of Skrymir's body lie - his massive legs, his rib-cage, his arms and his fleshless skull. Take them with you. At the summit, assemble them and place the fossilised heart in his dusty chest. Then stand you back, for the magic of Zyn shall roar forth from the cosmic interstices once again, as it did in times of old. Flesh shall clothe his yellowed bones, his heart shall beat and warm blood shall course through his veins; his eyes shall open and behold this travesty of ancient Krarth, and to the upstart magi he shall mete out a most fitting fate. Now, make ready to return below...'
He lifts diaphonous hands. A stream of grey-blue lights surrounds you. The scene shifts, and once more you find yourself on the plain below the floating platform. You can proceed as before - but remember that you have the heart of Skrymir now and - for the moment at least - you cannot discard it.
Turn to 238.
At last you reach the base of the atoll. The plain was deceptively wide, and you feel as though you have walked almost three kilometres across the blasted waste. The mist falls back in forlorn wisps as you reach the higher ground climbing up to the atoll. High above, the tassels of the Emblem of Victory stream in the ghostly winds that shriek about this desolate place.
A slope leads up into a crevice in the side of the atoll, and passing through this you find a path winding up and around it like a helter-skelter. The way is steep, and you are glad when you reach a small chamber where you can rest your aching legs. Pausing to gather your strength for the climb, you become aware of a reddish glow suffusing the back of the chamber. It illuminates a skull - but what a skull! It must have belonged to a man nearly four metres tall. As you stare dumbfounded, a groan comes from out of its fleshless lips. Then it speaks ...
'I was Skrymir the Giant, who dared to challenge the True Magi,' it tells you. 'This was in olden times, before the Blasting of Spyte which placed modern usurpers on the old thrones. The True Magi were wizards indeed! They blew spells that shrivelled my flesh into dust, turned my mighty heart to stone with their fierce glares, boiled my blood with their rage, cracked these old bones with shouted incantations ... But with your aid I could rise again and sweep away these capricious prattlers who now call themselves magi. Collect my bones together - this skull through which I now speak to you, and the other sundered fragments you will find. At the summit, join them together. Give me life and your rewards will be beyond the dreams of avarice!'
You may take the skull if you wish. If you have the fossilised heart then you must take the skull as well even if it means discarding some important item such as a sword.
Turn to 271.
You follow the path up inside the atoll until you reach another chamber. Here, a rib-cage of colossal proportions hangs from a petrified tree. A large padlock attaches it to one of the stone branches. From the other branches, grinning severed heads dangle by their matted scalps. A crack in the outer wall affords you a view across the Battlepits - of the floating basalt platform above the plain of standing stones, of the chasm where the Dirge-Men fly, of the pylon in the middle of bubbling lava pits and of the shrine and temple beyond it. You have come so far, but now you feel a terrible depression of the spirit. Your quest begins to seem almost pointless. How much better to slump here, to rest devoid of cares. To submit to defeat ...
A whistling wind blows from the tree. A thousand grinning mouths appear across its stony bark, screaming and calling for you. A thousand fire-blackened fingers stretch out from the gulf beyond your imagination, beckoning for your company. You feel the lure of insanity ...
Do you have the fossilised heart? If so, turn to 176. If you do not have that item you must rely on your force of will to see you through this ordeal (turn to 468).
The voice of Magus Zyn speaks inside your head: 'The guardians of the magi seek to stop you with their magic. But the servants of Zyn may always look to their master for aid ... Pay heed to the music of old Krarth.' You hear music in your mind - the atonal chanting of Cabbandari symphony. It is not to your tastes, but it certainly has the effect of driving away the phantasms that threaten your sanity. 'Now collect Skrymir's rib-cage,' says Zyn.
Turn to 272.
Do you have the giant's skull? If so, turn to 161. If you do not have this item, turn to 159.
A harsh command issues from the skull, sounding like the tolling of a death-knell. The padlock opens and the rib-cage falls at the base of the petrified tree. You may take this if you wish. (If you have the fossilised heart, then you must take it, and you can discard neither it, the heart nor the skull.)
Turn to 159.
Ok, a lot of reading there so I'll take a break so you can catch up with the text so far. I would like each of you to post your current inventory too (the above items need to be allocated also). Everyone is back to full health as I am ok with the Enchanter eating some bread back when Icon was slain. Might want to also tell me what spells the Enchanter has to mind.
You pass on up the tunnel until you reach another chamber. You must be halfway to the summit by now. Another tunnel leads up from the far side of the room, but to reach it you must pass a roughly carved throne of rock to which a giant skeletal pelvis and legs are shackled.
If you have the giant's skull, turn to 433. If you do not have this item, turn to 538.
The skull speaks again, and the shackles open and slither away, rustling their rusted links on the stone floor as they retreat into the shadows. If you have the fossilised heart, you must take the skeletal legs, even if it means dropping something else. (You may not drop the heart, skull or rib-cage.) Otherwise you have a free choice whether to take them or not. Note, however, that the legs count as two items for encumbrance.
Turn to 538.
You know what to expect before you reach the next chamber. It is malformed and fused, like an ancient fane blasted by tremendous heat. Worshippers stand frozen into pillars of salt, locked forever in the stances of dismay and panic they adopted at the moment of disaster. Beyond them are the items you knew you would find: two massive skeletal arms affixed to shoulder-blades like plates of armour. One fleshless hand still wears a spiked gauntlet of iron.
If you have the skull, turn to 394. If you do not have the skull, turn to 396.
You may take the skeletal arms if you wish. They count as two items of encumbrance. The iron gauntlet counts as a third item. (If you have the fossilised heart, you must take the arms, of course - and you still cannot discard the heart, arms, rib-cage or skull. You may take the gauntlet or not, as you wish.)
The salt-encrusted, sad faces of the dead worshippers make you uneasy. You hurry up the steps that lead from this chamber to the summit.
Turn to 322.
So, who's taking the legs and arms? And are you taking the gauntlet?
You emerge from the tunnel. Standing at the very summit of the atoll now, you are barely a dozen paces from the Emblem of Victory. You are high up, away from the glimmering fires and phosphor streams, but the Emblem is bathed in bright light - a grey-white Illumination spell cast by the magi. Perhaps more than just an Illumination spell - you see a pillar of light stretching up towards the ceiling of the cave and realise that it is the Teleportation spell that will convey you to the surface. You have only to step up and take hold of the Emblem ...
Propped against the rock on which the Emblem stands is an iron frame. You hadn't noticed it at first, as it lies half in shadows. Going over for a closer look, you see that it is a framework in which you could place the giant's bones if you have them.
If you have all the sections of Skrymir's skeleton and the fossilised heart, turn to 412. If you have all the sections of skeleton but do not have the heart, turn to 213. If you do not have all the skeleton, turn to 361.
You have no choice. Almost without volition, you stoop and begin to place the huge bones into the iron frame. Your thoughts are still your own, but Zyn's magic has implanted a subconscious command that you are powerless to resist. You watch as your hands reconstruct the long-dead giant. When all the sections of the skeleton are in place, you fetch the stone heart and lower it into the massive rib-cage. A cold dry wind whips up around the atoll, keening hungrily. Skrymir's soul is returning from the dead.
Already you can see small patches of skin appearing like fungus on the sere bones. A spark of life-light gleams inside the sockets of the skull.
Is there anything else you would like to add to the frame now? If so, turn to 302. If not, you have only to stand back and watch Skrymir return to life (turn to 117).
Hmm, I don't even know if we'd want to aid him or sabotage him. Could add the gauntlet to aid him I guess. Can't think of anything that may sabotage him. Maybe we could put the octagonal prisms in his eye sockets? Anyway I opt for 302.
Post by thealmightymudworm on Dec 6, 2015 5:28:52 GMT
Using the octagonal prisms in the eye sockets is ingenious and if that's an option I'm happy to give it a go.
On balance though I don't fancy giving him the gauntlet. I'm slightly tempted by the idea that it might be an accursed gauntlet utilised against him by the Magi (we weren't encouraged by Zyn or Skrymir's skull to pick it up, which you might expect if it were truly useful to him) - but that's one of those theories that could come back to punch you on the arse. If that's the only option I say no.
What will you add before the giant's flesh and sinew reknits on his ancient bones? A sliver of Kalium (turn to 441), a spiked gauntlet (turn to 146) or an ice jewel (turn to 483)? If you do not have - or do not wish to use - any of these, turn to 117.
Well I believe you only have the gauntlet out of the above, so based on your posts I will assume that is off the table. Time to watch the big man come back to life!
Skrymir rises from the ground, seeming to tower up and up. His beard flows like rivulets from a glacier; his eyes burn like frost. He raises his arms towards the cavern roof and gives a great wordless bellow of exultation. The walls seems to shake. If the magi in the city above hear it, they must be trembling now. 'Life!' he thunders. 'To live again! To turn about the yoke of death and place it upon the magi's necks! This is what I have dreamed of in my centuried sleep. And now, quake, you magi. Bolt the gates of your citadels. Marshal your armies and your puny magics. Skrymir strides the earth once more, and this time his iron-shod feet shall tread your mortal bodies into the mire!'
Skrymir is obviously getting ready to return to the surface to put some of his plans for vengeance into immediate effect. If you would like to point out that you have just restored him to life, turn to 84. If you say nothing, turn to 257.