Tuesday, 20 October 2015

After All It's Not Easy

Some years back, at one of the now-defunct FF forums, several fans cooperated in the creation of a new adventure, which involved a search for villains and McGuffins in around half a dozen different locations in Allansia. I wound up writing the passages covering travel between those locations, and did my best to ensure that there was always at least potential for something interesting to happen on the way from one place to another. In view of how well I knew the books, I suspect that Night Dragon was less influential than Keith Martin's earlier gamebook Tower of Destruction in showing me the sort of thing I wanted to avoid, but both books feature lengthy journeys on which hardly anything of note happens. While the multi-authored adventure to which I contributed is not as good as those two books, I do find its travel sequences more enjoyable, and I'm pretty sure that that's not just because I wrote them.

Resuming Night Dragon (rather later than intended), I have a lot of travel ahead of me. The Green Dragon who took me to the Conclave offers to transport me part of the way, but remembering Nevill's advice (and the nasty fate which befell the Dragon on the one previous attempt at this book when I took him up on his offer), I decline, thereby gaining my first Honour point.

To start with I seek the magic sword. After a day's uneventful travel, I reach a fork in the path. The side route leads to Carnex, and presents me with a minor dilemma: there's useful stuff to be had in Carnex, but getting hold of it would require me to get into a fight that's currently out of my league. So do I go anyway and hope for some really lucky rolls, or continue on to the Mist Crypts and hope for another opportunity to visit Carnex once I've got my hands on a decent magical item or two?

Carnex can wait. I hope. So I go on my way for a couple more days, during which nothing of note happens. Maybe the assassins on my trail are hoping to bore me to death. Finally I reach the mountain that houses the Crypts, and find an obvious entrance. Too obvious? I try seeking another way in, and my low Nemesis score means that I miss out on some fun or trouble while doing so. My search is unsuccessful, but not entirely fruitless, and I add some edible flora to my belongings before heading down the tunnel leading into the mountain.

After a while, I reach some steps leading down into the darkness. They eventually lead to a landing with a door at the far end, and as I head for the door, two skeletons 'melt' out of the walls to menace me. There appears to be a mistake in the text here: apparently these 'Stonemelders' are no ordinary animated skeletons, but are composed of both bone and bone.

Though I have a higher Skill than either of these creatures, and manage to position myself so they can only attack one at a time, I get some appalling rolls, and the second Stonemelder manages to kill me. A rather more abrupt ending than I'd hoped for, but with those dice I'd have done even worse in Carnex.

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