Friday, 4 August 2017

Attractive to the Eye and Soothing to the Smell

It's time for me to have another go at Lone Wolf book 10, The Dungeons of Torgar. Since my first attempt at the book for the blog, everything I still had in storage down in Tunbridge Wells has come up to Hull, including the issue of GM containing the mini-adventure based on the Battle of Cetza sequence in Dungeons, so I've decided to play that separately, and take the other route this time round.

A word of thanks to Gloccus for drawing my attention to quotations from the Lone Wolf Club Newsletter reproduced at Project Aon which indicate that, despite what the rules in the books imply, it is possible to put Backpack Items into storage and retrieve them while acquiring fresh equipment at the start of a later adventure. Thus, I am adding both remaining helpings of the Combat Skill-enhancing Alether I bought back in book 6 to my Backpack straight off. Into storage go the Altar Cloth and flask of booze that I picked up in book 9. I'll keep the Rope and Meal, add a healing potion and another Meal, and replace the arrows I used up last adventure. New Discipline and weapon proficiency are what I picked on my previous attempt. A quick reread of enough of section 1 to remind myself how to salute, just in case my cover gets challenged, and I'm ready to go.

When I state my intention to seek out partisan leader Sebb Jarel, probably the only man who might know of a path to Torgar between the Hellswamp and the Isle of Ghosts, Prince Graygor gives me a signet ring that will identify me as an ally. The ring is a Special Item, but doesn't count towards the limit on carrying capacity, so I'm not annoyed at having to take it the way I was with the mandatory pick-ups that forced me to drop other items in book 8.

I set off towards Pirsi, where Jarel may be found, and after a while I notice the ruins of a watchtower. Seeing a wisp of smoke, and a saddled horse grazing close by, I conclude that there's someone around, and opt to investigate. Inside the tower, a man with red leather clothing and a Bullwhip is cooking a bird over an open fire. He offers to share it with me, and I accept.

Upon seeing my uniform, her introduces himself as Halgar of Pirsi, and asks where I'm headed. Sensing that he's honest, I explain that I seek Jarel, and my new Discipline of Invisibility enables me to mimic the local accent sufficiently convincingly that Halgar doesn't see through my disguise and mistake me for an enemy assassin (as happened on my first proper attempt at the book). He reveals that Sebb is his brother, gives me directions to the partisans' camp, and warns me to be on my guard against the pack of Akataz roaming the forest.

No harm befalls me as I ride into the forest, and before long I reach the remains of a long-abandoned mining settlement. Two trails lead on from here, but Halgar said to take the one that follows the stream, so I follow his directions. This trail eventually leads me to the mouth of a gorge (rather oddly, the book says 'by chance', as if I'd been randomly wandering and just happened upon the place, rather than following a path that led there), which is filled with colourful and strong-smelling flowers. If I didn't have Nexus, the scent would go to my head in a manner that probably isn't beneficial.

As I continue on my way, the sound of falling shale alerts me to the presence of someone at the top of the gorge, hiding behind a couple of boulders. I'm about to make a hurried departure when a voice greets me from above, asking what news I bring. I insist on seeing who is addressing me, and the man comes out from behind the boulders, signalling to the twenty or so other men Not Being Seen in the vicinity to emerge from hiding as well. They're partisans, and several of them have their bows pointed at me.

I tell of the progress being made by the Prince's army, and the partisan spokesman replies that the Prince wouldn't send a Pathfinder just to report that, so I explain that I have been sent to seek Sebb Jarel's assistance. A few of the partisans are sent to join me in the gorge, and my not having killed Halgar and taken his bullwhip averts a potentially lethal misunderstanding. I show the signet ring, and the partisan sergeant agrees to take me to Jarel, but insists on blindfolding me so I won't be able to give enemies directions to the camp if captured and tortured.

After a couple of hours, the blindfold is removed, and I see that the partisans' camp is situated at the foot of a mountain. A concealed cave mouth leads to a torchlit passage, which ends at a curtained archway with two guards. Once my purpose has been explained, the guards allow me past to meet Jarel.

I'll leave it there for now, as it's been a week since I last posted, and I don't want people to start thinking that this blog's going inactive again. Things are liable to be busy for the next few days, but I'll see what time I can grab to carry on with the book, and hope to be able to post the continuation before long.

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