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Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


Welcome everyone, to the Let's Play the Grailquest series thread!

What's this?

Grailquest is a Gamebook series of eight books. Gamebooks are kinda like Choose Your Own Adventure games, only, you know... books. There are many kinds of Gamebooks, with various settings ranging from high fantasy to sci-fi to horror. These are set in King Arthur's time (with one exception, which I'll point out when we get to it).

How do you play this?

You simply read along the text. When it comes the time to make a decision, the text will instruct you to turn one of several specific "sections" in the book, which will reveal the outcome of your choice.

Also, sometimes you roll dice, to decide a random outcome or to fight enemies. That's it. Pretty simple.

I won't be playing this alone, however. You, the thread, will be playing along with me. I'll be doing all the dice rolls, but you'll decide which path we'll take through the books. Which means it'll be your fault if we die, so don't kill us, please.

Why LP this?

Because I grew up reading Gamebooks, and I love this series in particular. Why? Well, because of the way it's written. You'll see.

One word of warning: these books can be VERY long-winded. You'll need to bear with it. It's worth it, I promise.

Sounds fun! Where are we now?

We're done with the first four books!

In The Castle of Darkness we managed to kill that pig-stealing, moat-drying, crop-blighting, all-around nuisance of the wicked Wizard Ansalom. You can read through our adventure by turning to the very next post.

In The Den of Dragons we have slain the dreadful Brass Dragon that kept terrorizing the realm of Avalon. Click here to go to the start of book two!

In The Gateway of Doom we've closed the Gateway to the Ghastly Kingdom of the Dead that was causing a lot of trouble being left open, and kicked the rear end of the jerk that opened it in the first place. Click here to start reading!

In Voyage of Terror, we went on a trip! Click here to start reading from the beginning of book four!

Right now we're playing book five, Kingdom of Horror. The book starts here.

Mikl fucked around with this message at 13:16 on Mar 1, 2016

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Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


Merlin posted:

Sit still - I want to cast a spell. And don't fidget! You know how fidgeting upsets me. No, you don't. But you will. Yes, indeed. It's easy to upset people my age. I'm much older than you. I'm also dead. I died hundreds of years before you were even born. But a little thing like that won't make a lot of difference. That's what being a Magician is all about.

Welcome to...




Merlin posted:

About the spell. You can't see me, of course. You can't hear me. But you can read what I write. Yes, indeed. Are you nervous? You ought to be: it's a very powerful spell. I don't do this one very often: it takes too long. Some spells you just mumble a word. Others you just wave a wand. But this one you have to write a whole spell book. The book you're holding, just for one spell! I'm nearly too old for this length of spell, but the King insists. Something has to be done about Ansalom.

You're going to have to help, you know. You can't just sit there reading the spell book. Not if you're going to be a big time Magician like me and spend your life being bossed around by the King. No, help is needed. I don't have a body in your Time, that's the trouble. So I need an assistant to fetch things for me. You. You're my assistant. Apprentice, really.

(Sit still. Don't fidget.)

You'll have to get a quill and some parchment. A goose quill. Peacock quills are pretentious. We'll leave that sort of nonsense to Wizards like Ansalom. A goose quill. And a little knife to sharpen it. And some powders and water to mix the ink. Or a pencil and paper would do, if you can't find a goose.

You'll also need two dice. Or one if you can't find two. One will do nicely, but two would be better if you can find them. Ordinary dice. Six sides, little spots. You must have some somewhere. Bring them back here and between us we'll cast the spell.

Back? Good. I'd better tell you about the spell, I suppose, now that you're my Apprentice. I'm going to cast it over you. Don't panic. It's the sort of spell that has to be cast over somebody. Otherwise nothing happens. Nothing at all. Complete waste of a good spell.

I'll tell you what the spell does. It takes you away from where you are now, away from your Time. Well, it takes most of you. The inside you. It leaves your body where it is, so if your parents look over they won't know you're gone. But you will be. Yes, indeed. The inside you won't be in your own Time at all. It'll be in mine. When the inside you gets to my Time, I'll just pop it into another body. Quite a nice one. A young person, much like yourself, except better looking. And stronger. I can't make you any smarter, but you'll have to put up with that.

Hey! :mad:

Merlin posted:

Once you're in that other body, you'll be able to move around in it and get to do things, just like your own. You'll be able to see what things were like in my Time. I think I can even arrange it so you get to meet the King. King Arthur. Arthur Pendragon, son of Uther. Quite a nice man, if he wasn't so bossy. (Younger than me, but then everybody is.) You'll also get to meet knights, and have adventures. You may even get to meet me if I'm not too busy.

You can get back to your own body at any time, of course. You just go. It's very simple. And when you want to come back to my Time, you just continue reading this spell book where you left off. No trouble at all.

You'll enjoy living in my Time. The food's better for one thing. And there's a lot of action. Quests. Battles. Adventures. That sort of thing. Knights in armour clanking around all over the place. Horses - a lot of horses. Castles. Keeps. Fortresses. Towers. And peasants (a smelly lot). We even have a few dragons left. Not many, but in your Time they've died out altogether. And there's a lot of magic about in my Time: much more than in yours. The conditions here are better for working magic. You'll enjoy living in my Time for a time. If you don't get yourself killed.

You heard the man, goons. Don't get ourselves killed.

Merlin posted:

That's the deal. That's the spell. But there are a couple of things you have to do before we're off. Both these things involve arithmetic.

When you arrive in my Time, you won't have any LIFE. No LIFE means you can't do anything. Which isn't much of an adventure. So the thing to do is get a bit of LIFE together before you set off. I'll tell what you do.

First, you take your dice and roll them together. Now, add the two scores. Now multiply your answer by 4. Write down your answer, because that's the number of LIFE POINTS you will have on your adventure when the spell is cast. You'll find you won't have less than 8 or more than 48. (I know that because I'm a Magician.)

Let's do that right away!

Roll: 6 + 2 = 8, multiplied by 4 is 32. Not bad.

Merlin posted:

If you aren't very happy with your score, then roll the dice again. See if that's any better. In fact, you can roll the dice three times altogether and pick the best score out of the three. If you've only got one die to begin with, that's no problem. Instead of rolling the two dice, roll one die twice and add the scores together, then multiply by 4. It's the same thing in the end.

Can we do better than 32?

Roll: 4 + 5 = 9, multiplied by 4 is 36
Roll: 4 + 3 = 7, multiplied by 4 is 28

So we get 36 LIFE POINTS. Not the best possible outcome, but not bad either.

Merlin posted:

I nearly forgot something. You have to learn to Fight. You won't last long in my Time if you don't know how to fight. Nobody does. Knight who can't fight get killed off every five minutes. You find bits of them all over the place. Can't have my Apprentice ending up like that.

The way you fight in my Time is a bit peculiar. You have to roll dice. Two dice together, or one die twice. Doesn't matter which. If you score more than 6 on your two rolls added together, it means you've hit your enemy. Landed him a whopper on the snout or wherever. How about that? If you score 6 or less, it means you swung wildly and missed altogether. It happens. When I was a lad and fighting all the time, I often missed.

Supposing you do hit him - what then? Well, for every point you score above 6, you do him that much damage. If you roll 7 you do him 1 point of damage. If you roll 8 you do him 2 points of damage, and so on. But don't cheat. Cheating messes up the spell. Every point of damage you score against your enemy is subtracted from his LIFE POINTS. Unless he's wearing armour, in which case damage is scored against his armour until you've broken through it. After which all further damage is scored against his LIFE POINTS.

Now pay attention, this is important. When your enemy has only 5 LIFE POINTS left, he will fall down unconcious. If he has NO LIFE POINTS left, you've killed him. Deceased as a door nail.

All this is what happens if you are pounding away at your enemy with your fists. If you happen to be hacking away at him with a sword, or poking at him with a spear, or bonking him with a club, you will score Extra Damage. But don't worry about that just now. You'll learn how to use swords and things when you come into my Time. You'll also learn magic, but that's another story.

Fighting is easy, isn't it? In fact, so far as I can see, there's only one real problem with it. While you're thumping your enemy, he (or she - women were very dangerous in my Time) will almost certainly be thumping you back. Turn and turn about. That's the way it goes.

Your opponent will fight exactly whe way you do: by throwing dice. (Except you'll have to throw them for him, of course, since you're the one with the dice.) If he throws above 6 he's managed to hit you. And every point above 6 scores 1 damage against you - subtracted from your LIFE POINTS (or your armour, then your LIFE POINTS) until you have 5 left, when you fall unconcious, or none left, when you're dead.

A bit long-winded, but that's the explaination we get on how to fight.

Merlin posted:

All right, that's all you need to know about Fighting for the time being. But before I start to cast my spell, I'd better tell you about Sleeping. Sleep is the way to get your LIFE POINTS back. You can Sleep at any time in my Time. (Except in the middle of a fight, of course.) And every time you Sleep successfully, you get back two dice rolls worth of LIFE POINTS.

That's convenient. This book is much more forgiving than the others in the series (it IS the first one after all), though, so I doubt we'll Sleep at all.

Merlin posted:

There's a snag though. To go to Sleep you roll one die. If it comes up 1, 2, 3 or 4, you're headed for the Dreamtime, which you'll find at the back of this spell book. And in the Dreamtime you're quite likely to lose even more LIFE POINTS. Maybe even get yourself killed. But that's the way the barm brack bounces. When you need a couple of dice rolls of LIFE POINTS you take your chances with the Dreamtime and just hope you throw a 5 or 6.

One more reason not to Sleep: it's hella dangerous.

Merlin posted:

I nearly forgot something else. When you come to my time, your name will be Pip. I can't help that. It's the name of the body I picked for you. When the King was young, they called him "Wart". Don't ever dare tell him I told you.

Finally you've got to learn about Experience. You collect 1 point of EXPERIENCE every time you win a fight or solve a puzzle. Count them carefully, because every 20 EXPERIENCE POINTS give you 1 PERMANENT LIFE POINT. And you can add a PERMANENT LIFE POINT to your total LIFE POINTS even if it brings you higher than you were when you started out. What's more, you can take up to 10 PERMANENT LIFE POINTS with you into other adventures and add them to whatever LIFE POINTS you happen to roll up. And by the way, a really heroic deed can often earn you more than 1 EXPERIENCE POINT.

This is nearly everything you need for your adventure. You can larn how to use Bribery and how to test for Friendly Reactions as you go along. These rules - and all the others - are on the card at the back of the book, so you can cut it out and use it as a bookmark.

I'll be sure to explain those when they come up. But now I guess you can't wait to get started, right?

Merlin posted:

Now the Spell.

Finally. This guy sure talks a lot. Let's get started!

Wait, there's several more pages before the actual start of the adventure. There are two pages of “Hints for the game”, which are as longwinded as Merlin was, so I'll just summarize them:

1. It's a good idea to draw a map to show the connections between the various Sections;
2. You can go back to previous sections using the map, as long as you know the way is not blocked. This is a dramatic departure from most Gamebooks, in which you cannot go back to where you were before. As a result, in those games, more or less all paths lead to the ending (or to death). Not so here! In fact, I'll just skip hints three and four (which are, respectively, “Hoarde your weapons for when you really need them” and “Hoarde your healing potions for when you really need them”) and go straight to…
5. You can totally get to a dead end. If this happens, go back and try another path;
6. If you are about to die, try a Friendly Reaction or a bribe;

So, what is a Friendly Reaction, and what is a Bribe? According to the rules:

Friendly Reaction posted:

Roll one die once for your enemy and three times for yourself. If you score less than your enemy, he is Friendly. Proceed as if you had won a fight.

Bribery posted:

1. Bribery is possible in section marked *B. The number of asterisks indicates the amount of Gold Pieces (or objects of equal or higher value) your enemy will accept: *B = 100 GPs; **B = 500 GPs; ***B = 1000 GPs; ****B = 10000 GPs.
2. To offer a bribe, roll two dice: if you score 1-7 your bribe is refused, if you score 8-12 proceed as if you have won a fight.
3. Whether or not you are successful, substract the bribe amount from your gold store.

Pretty unlikely for both to work, but good to try as a last resort. And finally, hint #7:

7. Note down all items you find, even if you don't use them here they might be useful in later books.

And yes, this will happen. Eventually.

Now, one last introductory section, and we're ready to start our adventure!

The Realm of Avalon posted:

It was a wonderful age to live in, despite the dangers. Pendragon's son, King Arthur by name, was on the throne of Avalon, ruling by the right of his great sword Excalibur, which he had drawn from the stone as a boy when strong men could not move it. Arthur brought peace of a sort to the Kingdom. Before his time, the local lords fought and squabbled among themselves like geese so that there was scarcely a minute's quiet from one year's end to the next. But Arthur changed all that; and with just one marvellous invention. Chivalry.



A strange thing, Chivalry. Or strange when Arthur introduced it. We've become accustomed to it now, so that it seems a law of nature, like gravity or the way birds fly south in summer. But in those days it was a strange idea. Then, if you were strong and wanted something that belonged to somebody who was weak, you took it. And if you were a knight and saw a maiden being carried off by a dragon, you let it eat her. (Aye, and if you were that same maiden, the chances were you let it eat you, instead of sticking up for yourself as any self-respecting maiden should.)

But Arthur's strange idea of Chivalry changed all that. It introduced Fair Play and Common Courtesy and Decency and Justice and Good Behaviour and Self Sufficiency, and a lot of other Fine Things that were sadly lacking in Avalon, even in Pendragon's day. (It did not introduce cricket, as many silly people claim. But it did introduce jousting, which was nearly as good. And if anybody tells you jousting is a violent, brutal sport, simply because brave knights will try to knock each other off their horses, you just point out it is a great deal better than what they got up to before jousting was invented. That hardly bears thinking about.)

The centre of all this Chivalry was something else Arthur invented. The Table Round, or Round Table as people insist on calling it. There really was a Round Table, made of oak, mainly, with teak inlay, big enough for a dozen or so knights to sit round quite comfortably, even though knights are very bulky in their armour. But the Round Table was more than that, much more. The Round Table was a way of life.

And it was a way of life that appealed greatly to a certain class of person. When Arthur first set up the Round Table (even before the Master Carpenter finished setting the inlays) knights from all over Avalon were clamouring to join it. There was even one knight who traveled all the way from France – no mean feat in bad weather – to find out if there was a place for him. His name was Monsieur Sir Lancelot du Lac and as it turned out there was a place for him and an important place at that. Anthough they did make him change his name a little so the English could pronounce it: Sir Lancelot of the Lake.

With so many knights clamouring to join, Arthur could afford to pick the best for his Round Table. So he did. There was never so great a collection of knights since the Romans were chased out. Galahad. Percival. Lancelot. Bedevere. Guinevere. The list goes on and on. Except that Guinevere wasn't exactly a knight: she was Arthur's Queen. But she often sat at the Round Table for the sake of the excellent advice she gave and the keen brain in her head.

There was another who often sat at the Round Table, anthough he was not a knight either. He was what they call a Druid, which is sort of priest and sort of miracle-monger all rolled into one. His name was Merlin, which might tell you he was Welsh. The common people called him Merlin the Magician. The Knights, who were mostly afraid of him, called him 'Sir'. Arthur, who knew better, called him 'Silly old fool'. But that was really a term of affection from the King. After all, it was Merlin who set the sword in the stone and helped make Arthur what he is today. That's the truth of the matter, although another Wizard (by the name of Ansalom) took to claiming he was the one responsible.

Nobody liked Ansalom much, although there were few enough prepared to call him a liar to his face, even among the brave knights. Ansalom was a nasty piece of work, and short tempered. The sort of Wizard who would blight your crops as soon as look at you. And since nobody wants their crops blighted, people tended to leave Ansalom alone.

The Table Round was set at King Arthur's court, which was at a place called Camelot. It was a remarkable sight, especially in summer with the pennants flying from the spires and the sunshine glinting off the polished armour of the men-at-arms. In winter not so nice perhaps, because the pennants drooped a little in the rain and the armour was prone to rust. But then Arthur very seldom stayed at Camelot in winter. He usually went off to Cornwall.

Not very far from Camelot, if you had a good horse to carry you, was a farm. Nothing grand, nothing large, nothing spectacular, although it was owned by a freeman, not just worked by a serf. The farm was three and a half miles due north of a tiny little marked village called Glastonbury (which was very near Camelot), but the road twisted and turned so much that by the time you reached the farm you actually traveled nearer five miles than three and a half. Not that very many people ever did go to the farm. Why should they? If they wanted farm produce, they bought it in Glastonbury Market. So the farm was very isolated. And this particular farm lacked a great many home conforts and had next to no luxuries at all. In short, when you stopped to think about it, this farm was about as far from the splendours of Camelot as you could possibly imagine.

On this farm lived a young person, adopted child of the freeman farmer, whose name was John, and John's wife, Miriam, or Mary as she was more often called. The young person's name was Pip.

Pip lived a quiet, uneventful life, serene, calm, peaceful, marked by the slow roll onwards of the seasons, interrupted only by the sleepy hum of summer insects or the sound of early morning birdsongs…

Yeah right.

Section 0 posted:

'I'm going to kill you, Brat! I'm going to murder you! I'm going to slaughter you! I'm going to beat your head in and tuck it underneath your arm!'

That's Mean Jake talking, pip. A boy three years older than you and a lot bigger. His father's also called Jake – Jake the Maggot. Five brothers: three younger, two older. Four sisters, all older. A bad family, the whole lot of them. They make their living thieving from Glastonbury Market, which is where you are now. It's early morning and nearly deserted: your adopted father, Freeman John, always comes to the market very early to unload his vegetables. Unfortunately, he's gone off to the smith to buy a new bit for the pony. So you're all alone on the cart, with your back against a sack of carrots, and now Mean Jake has turned up out of nowhere. He seems to have it in for you.



'Come on, Brat! Get down off that cart - I'm going to break you into tiny little pieces!'

We might discuss the reasons for Mean Jake's behaviour - the deprived childhood, the lack of a suitable role model - but that won't do you much good now, Pip. Look around you. There's not another soul in the market square. Not one. Too early. And Freeman John won't be back for half an hour.

It looks as if you're going to have to fight him. Either that or get killed and murdered and slaughtered and your head beaten in and tucked under your arm and the rest of you broken into tiny little pieces. Not much of a choice there. Fight or run, and you can't run because Freeman John would never find you. So it's a fight. Got your dice?

Mean Jake has 20 LIFE POINTS, about average for a boy his age. Climb down slowly off the cart, Pip, but keep an eye on him - that one has a habit of rushing at you when you aren't looking. Wouldn't want that, because it gives him the first blow. Keep an eye on him and close in slowly. That way, you might get your punch in first.

Careful now. Throw one die once for yourself and one die once for Mean Jake. Whoever gets the highest score here has the first punch. Circle round him slowly. Keep your eye on him. Don't be in any hurry.

20 LIFE POINTS is average for a boy his age? What does that make us, with 36 LIFE POINTS and three years younger? Anyways:

Pip's initiative roll: 5
Mean Jake's initiative roll: 2

We go first.

Section 0 posted:

'Come on, Brat! I'm going to-'

He talks too much. That's good. Try to bop him on the nose. It's a bit harder to hit his nose - you need to roll an 8 instead of a 6. But if you do hit him there you score double damage. O.K. not much sense in stringing this out. Get the dice rolling and start the fight!

For all the bluster, this fight won't end up with a murder. It stops when the first fighter loses 10 or more LIFE POINTS.

If the first fighter to lose 10 or more LIFE POINTS is you, then turn to 1.
If the first player to lose 10 or more LIFE POINTS is Mean Jake, then turn to 2.

Let's get ready to rumble!

Pip attacks! 1+3=4, a swing and a miss.
Mean Jake attacks! 6+6=12 :ohdear: Pip is smacked for 6 LIFE POINTS and is down to 30.
Pip attacks! 4+2=6, juuuuuust barely missed.
Mean Jake attacks! 3+6=9, Pip is hit for 3 LIFE POINTS and is down to 27.
Pip attacks! 3+2=5, it seems the dice hate us.
Mean Jake attacks! 4+5=9, Pip is hit again for 3 more LIFE POINTS, is down to 24 and out of the fight.

Yeowch. The dice weren't kind to us here. Let's hope it gets better from now on.

Section 1 posted:

Oh, dear, he's half killed you. Bruise on the cheek. Sore nose. Skinned knuckles. Clothes all torn and muddy where you were rolling on the ground together. And that eye of yours is going to turn into a beautiful shiner tomorrow.

Don't worry about those lost LIFE POINTS, Pip. You'll have them back in a few hours. Everybody does. (Unless they're dead, of course.) You get 1 LIFE POINT back for every hour that passes after a fight ends. So by this time tomorrow you should be good as new. Apart from the bruises. You never grow back more LIFE POINTS that you had to start with, of course. But that's all right.

'Let that be a lesson to you, Brat! Never tangle with Mean Jake!'

Isn't that just like him? Crowing over an opponent when they're down. Still, it's over now: he's swaggering away to tell everybody how he murdered you. Rotten, isn't it? If only you'd landed on his conk more often. Never mind: it could be different next time. You'll get even. Maybe.

Anyway, right now you have other things to do. Like thinking up a good reason why you're in such a mess. Freeman John doesn't approve of fighting. What on earth will you tell him? Dear, dear, life is full of problems.

Better turn to 3, Pip, before anything worse happens.

Section 3 posted:

So it was for Pip and Freeman John and Freeman John's Goodwife Mary. Life went on its same old uneventful way. The tilling and the sowing and the reaping. The fine days and the foul. And talking of fowl, Goodwife Mary bought some chickens with the proceeds of a particularly good sale of swedes Freeman John made in Glastonbury Market. So now they had eggs to eat on the farm. It might not sound much, but it meant a lot to them. When you're struggling to make ends meet, an egg is a treat. (And very good for you, by the way.)

Pip got the job of feeding the chickens. Silly birds they were. There were six chickens in all and one morning there were seven eggs. Goodwife Mary claimed it was a miracle, although it's much more likely that a chicken simply decided to work overtime. Perhaps because she liked Pip. You get chickens like that sometimes.

While feeding the chickens, Pip used to daydream about leaving the farm and going off to find fame and fortune; especially fortune. There were always stories about adventures which ended in hoards of gold once you killed the dragon, or whatever it was that the adventure was all about. A hoard of gold would come in very handy on the farm, Pip thought. It would stop Goodwife Mary worrying so much. And Freeman John, come to that. The only one who didn't seem to worry all the time was Pip. Probably too busy feeding chickens. (And fighting in the market square, eh? Shhh!)

Sometimes Pip daydreamed of joining the Round Table and riding off on a fine horse our of Camelot to find adventure and a hoard of gold: two hoards of gold even. But it was only a dream, of course. That sort of thing never happens in real life. Not that the Table Round couldn't have done with a little help about that time. Even from Pip. It wasn't all ale and jousting being a knight. Or even a king, come to that. There are times when Affairs of State weigh heavily. Affairs of State can be anything from a bad harvest in the Realm to the threat of another invasion by those Romans. Or even an upsurge of dragons. Dragons are rare enough, but every so often (when it rains the first two weeks of August) they have a good breeding season and the following July the place seems to be infested with them. No jousting for the knights then: they're all to busy racing round like maniacs killing dragons. Or getting treatment for burns.

Still, dragons weren't the problem this time. August last year had been fine. No, the problem was Ansalom. The Wizard Ansalom. In a nutshell, Ansalom was getting far too big for his boots. Hardly a day went past that King Arthur didn't have at least one petition to do something about him.

'Please, sire, he's blighted my corn.'

'Please, sire, he's taken my pig.'

'Please, sire, he's dried up my moat.'

True, all true. Ansalom was a world-class, prime time, A1 nuisance. Worse than the Romans, worse than dragons. The problem was so many of the knights were afraid of him. Knights are fighters, great people in the face of physical adversity, but magic makes them nervous. And everybody knew the Wizard Ansalom had a lot of magic. So when King Arthur suggested to Percival or Galahad or whoever that they should do something about the Wizard Ansalom, he started getting funny answers.

'Of course, sire, except I have this wrong to right in Tintagel.'

'Of course, sire, only I'm just this minute off on a quest for the Holy Grail.'

And so on. Eventually, in desperation, Arthur dispatched the brave King Pellinore to do something about the problem, but Pellinore got lost in the forest outside Wizard Ansalom's Dark Castle. (Poor sense of direction, Pellinore.) Merlin might have been able to do something about it, being a Wizard himself. But Merlin was missing at the moment, with a lot of ridiculous gossip about his having got himself a girlfriend. Nonsense at his age, of course, but he wasn't about, whatever the reason. So the Wizard Ansalom went his merry, wicked way unchecked.

While King Arthur was trying to cope with these troublesome Affairs of State, an odd thing happened that went completely unnoticed in Camelot, although it was extremely noticeable on Freeman John's farm, that being where it happened. Pip was talking to a chicken at the time, on the theory that a little encouragement might increase egg production. And right in the middle of this little chat, Goodwife Mary staggered into the coop, her face as pale as newly milled flour…

'Pip,' says she, and stops. 'Oh, Pip!' And stops again, clinging to a nearby perch for support.

'Mother - what's the matter?' asks Pip anxiously. It was always 'Mother', even though Goodwife Mary was an adopted mother. This being the Age of Chivalry, politeness was important. 'Are you ill?'

'Ill?' She looks around her vaguely, first at the coop, then at the chickens, which have gathered round in a curious circle, bobbing their heads and sussing out the situation with very bright, very beady eyes. 'Ill? No. No, I'm not ill. I don't think so. Oh, Pip, men have come.'

'Men, Mother?' asks Pip, who knows how to frame a stupid question when the need arises.

'Nobles, Pip. Great men. Knights. Knights of the Round Table. With their horses and their pages. They're in the yard now, talking to your father.' She reels a little, as if about to faint, but her secure grip on the perch does its job and she stays upright, eyes as wide as saucers. 'They're asking after you, Pip!'

After you, Pip? What's going on here?

'After me, Mother?'

'After you, Pip!'

'Pip! Pip! Where are you, Pip?' That's the voice of Freeman John, calling you.

So you take Goodwife Mary's arm and lead her out of the chicken coop, forgetting to close the door because of all this nonsense about knights, so that the chickens pile out after you to find out what on earth is going on. But it's true enough; at least is seems to be. The farmyard is full of large men in armour, with swords and halberds and snorting great warhorses. They aren't knights - Goodwife Mary was wrong about that - they are men-at-arms, an escort, so to speak, but definitely from Camelot, for they wear the King's colours and fly the King's pennant. At least twelve of them, half filling the farmyard, and very fierce looking they are. Freeman John is talking to one of them, a burly fellow bursting from his chain mail, with the insigna of a Sergeant-at-Arms.



'Pip,' says Freeman John, who looks just as pale, just as shocked as Goodwife Mary, 'these men want you to go with them.'

'Boss wants a word with you,' explains the Sergeant-at-Arms brusquely.”

'With me?'

'If your name's Pip. It is Pip, isn't it?'

You nod, dumbly.

'Then that's settled, then,' says the Sergeant-at-Arms. 'Bring up the spare horse, George!' And to you, when one of his men has brought the spare horse: 'You can ride an 'orse, can't you?'

You nod again, although this horse is twice the size of the farm pony. (And draped with a coat of arms you don't recognise: a very strange-looking coat of arms, almost sinister in fact. And it's a black horse too, black as night.)



'Orl right then, up you go,' says the Sergeant-at-Arms, pointing towards the stirrup. Then to John, as an aside, 'We'll have the child back in a day at most, Freeman: don't you worry. Take good care, we will, the lads and me. No harm will come to anybody while we're about.' Stout English yeoman type, the ruination of the country.

'Come on, Pip,' he says. 'Up you go!'

Do you go willingly? If so, turn to 4.
Do you protest, or run, or kick and scream and try to make a fight of it? If so, turn to 5.

Pip's Stat Block posted:

LIFE POINTS: 36/36
EXPERIENCE POINTS: 0
INVENTORY:


First actual decision point of the book, and here's where you come in. What shall we do, goons? Do we climb on, or fight these goons?

Mikl fucked around with this message at 09:12 on Jun 7, 2015

Leave
Feb 7, 2012

Taking the term "Koopaling" to a whole new level since 2016.


Fight! :black101:

We've gotta make up for our poor performance against that dick, Mean Jake.

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


We’re not going anywhere without a fight!

Section 5 posted:

It’s no good, Pip, there are just too many of them and they’re too fast and too strong. They bundle you up on to that great sinister black horse and tell you that if you don’t behave they’ll tie you up in a sack and carry you that way. It’s probably an exaggerated threat, but all the same you may as well go quietly and turn to 4.

But thou must.

This called a “Fake Choice”. There aren’t many in this book, but they’re not absent either. This one serves the purpose of railroading us on a specific path, since we’re still in the middle of the introduction. Which, by the way, means more :words:

We’ll get to the adventure proper soon, I promise, but we have some prose to power through first.

Section 4 posted:

Clinging precariously to the back of his huge black horse with its sinister insignia, you are led away from the farm of your adoptive parents, at first on the familiar road to Glastonbury Town, but shortly turning off on to less familiar tracks until, within an hour or so, you are thoroughly lost.

The men-at-arms seem sure enough of their direction, though; and even when they enter a dark forest they show no sign of nervousness. There is a fair amount of chatter amongst themselves (much of it involving the quality of food in Camelot canteen, which is odd since you would imagine the food at Camelot would be very fine: but perhaps it’s only very fine for real knights and nobles, not for men-at-arms).

The going is slow through the forest, so that the sun hangs low in the sky by the time you emerge abruptly into a vast clearing, in the centre of which is a log castle. No, not a log cabin - a log castle. Not very big as castles go, but big enough. Certainly a lot bigger than your home, or any of the houses you’ve seen in Glastonbury. With a log drawbridge spanning a deep, still moat. There are no men-at-arms on the battlements, only crows which raise a raucous alarm as your party approaches.

Since they are going to take you inside this strange castle anyway, Pip, whatever you do, better turn on now to 6 to find out what happens.

Section 6 posted:

The hooves of the horses clatter loudly on the wooden drawbridge before you and your party pass beneath an open wooden portcullis into a stone-flagged yard.

This is the first time you have ever been in a castle (let alone a log castle) but if you expected hordes of servants, you are bitterly disappointed. The only horde that emerges from a small curtained doorway in the north wall of the courtyard is a cross-eyed, shambling huchback in a leather jerkin and tattered leggings. He carries a wicked-looking dagger stuck carelessly in the leather belt around his waist. He is nearly bald and limps on account of a club foot (the left one). His bottom lip hangs. To tell the truth, he looks an awful mess.



The creature drags his club foot in your direction, halting just in time to stop your horse shying away in fright, and stares up at you for a moment with great ugly, rheumy, squinty eyes (both brown, you can now see).

Ok, what the hell is that thing? Not the hunchback, I mean, that other thing behind him in the illustration :stare:

Section 6 posted:

‘Ahr,’ he gurgles after a moment. ‘This be Pip all right. You lot can go now, about your lawful business.’

‘Right, Igor,’ says the Sergeant-at-Arms briskly, obviously scared witless of this creature, but not wanting to show it. He wheels about and the entire armed party rides out of the courtyard across the drawbridge. And behind them, although there is no one about, the portcullis slams down and the drawbridge raises up, leaving you alone with Igor.

‘Down you come,’ says Igor. ‘Just leave the mare: she’ll take care of herself.’

And since there isn’t much else you can do, you climb down from the horse.

‘This way, young Pip, this way. Ahrr,’ says Igor, shambling off the way he came, back in through that little doorway in the north wall. ‘You just follow after me. Ahrr. The Master wants to see ‘ee, ahrr.’ And so forth, rolling like a boat in a swell on account of his club foot.

And since there isn’t much else you can do here either, you follow him down a gloomy, torchlit corridor (but why don’t the torches set the wooden walls afire?) through an arch, along a second corridor and into a small, but well-appointed room with a table and some charis, and leather-bound books on shelves around the walls, and a globe of the world near the table and a map of the heavens on the table, and dividers and compasses and parchment and a goose qull pens and inks and powders and potions and heaven knows what.

Not that you’re paying much attention to the room, because the strangest thing is happening to Igor. His hump is dropping off. And his club foot is straightening. And he’s growing taller and thinner and sprouting long white hair on his head and a long grey beard on his face.

And his clothes are changing: the leather jerkin and those ghastly leggings. And his eyes are unsquinting and changing from brown to blue. It is without a doubt the most amazing, most miraculous, most magical transformation you have ever witnessed. In place of the shambling Igor, there stands in this well-appointed room a tall, straight, blue-eyed, grey-bearded, old man in a long white robe and pointed hat (both embroidered, incidentally, with moons and stars and suns and planets and other curious symbols).



‘That’s better,’ says the old man: and his voice is dry, not at all like Igor’s voice. ‘Shape-shifting’s always a nuisance, but they expect a man in my position to have servants, even if he can’t afford them. So it’s necessary. Yes. Yes, indeed.’

He stares at you with those piercing blue eyes. ‘Well, I see you got here. Made it safely. Spell worked. Knew it would. Enjoying yourself, are you, young Pip? Fighting the village boys, all that sort of thing? Good. Good. But there’s more important work at hand just now.’ He waves you towards a chair with a short movement of one long, bony hand. ‘Sit down. Sit still. Don’t fidget.’

It was in this way that young Pip met one of the oddest individuals ever to walk the face of fair Avalon in the days of King Arthur and the Knights of the Table Round. Although it took Pip quite a time to realise the identity of the old man who could shape-shift into the form of the hunchback Igor (and probably into quite a few other forms if the truth be known). In fact, poor Pip was so confused, the question had to be asked outright: ‘Who are you, sir?’ and the ancient shape-shifter with the piercing blue eyes said, ‘Me? I’m Merlin, of course!’

Merlin. Now there you have it. That explains a lot. Merlin the Welshman. Merlin the Druid. Merlin the Magician, adviser to King Arthur and any of the knights who cared to listen. The old wise man of Camelot, who lived in a log castle in a clearing in the forest (and sometimes lived in a cave and sometimes in a tree trunk and sometimes heaven knew ehre because you could never find him when you wanted him so the King used to say).

You might wonder what a man in Merlin’s position would want with a young farmhand like Pip. You might wonder what would persuade him to send a party of the King’s own men-at-arms to fetch such an unimportant individual. But the fact of the matter was that Merlin was a bit daft. Dulally tap, as they say in Yorkshire; by which they mean someone lacking all his marbles, barmy, not all there, nutty, if not quite a fruitcake, at least a currant bun.

In this state, brought on by old age perhaps, or by chasing after young women - for the rumours about his girlfriend were all too true as history attests - Merlin had formed the strange delusion that Pip was not Pip at all, but a young person from the distant future, drawn by magic to inhabit Pip’s sturdy body. All nonsense, of course, but when a man like Merlin gets an idea fixed in his mind, the devil himself couldn’t shift it. And with this idea roosting in his white-thatched skull, everything that Merlin did next made a great deal of sense. For what he did next was teach Pip the rudiments of magic.

‘Now pay attention,’ Says Merlin. ‘The King has a problem. At least he will have, even if he doesn’t know it yet. Guinevere. The Queen. Delightful woman, but she’s going to be kidnapped. It hasn’t happened yet, but it will.’

He gestures to the parchment on the table, which is covered in calculations and blots. ‘No doubt about it,’ he says. ‘I worked it out by astrology. Saturn trine Jupiter and a very nasty aspect in her Rising Sign. I don’t have to tell you what that means. It means she’s going to be kidnapped. Soon. Seized. Abducted. Snatched right out of Camelot from under our very noses. The Queen herself. Dreadful.’

He walks to a nearby bookshelf and takes down a leather-bound tome, which he opens at page 86. Inside, stuck down rather messily with glue, is a charcoal drawing of a black-haired, black-bearded, black-eyed and extremely villainous-looking man in black robes, holding a wand. ‘And that,’ says Merlin, ‘is the rogue who’ll do it. Ansalom. The one they call the Wizard Ansalom, although in my opinion he’d be hard put to tell a spell from a mangle. Still, he knows a trick or two: have to admit that.’


Have I said I love how this book’s written yet? I think I did, but I’ll say it again :allears:

Section 6 posted:

‘Well now,’ says Merlin, putting away the book again, ‘we have to do something about it. At least-’ And here he turns his gimlet gaze on you, Pip. ‘- you have to do something about it: I’m too busy.’

‘Me, sir?’ you ask, perhaps a little terrified.

‘Yes, you. Of course you. Why do you think I brought you here all the way from your own time? Just to talk to chickens? Oh, no, young Pip: there’s a job to be done and you’re here to do it. But at least it isn’t difficult. All you have to do is get into the Wizard Ansalom’s Dark Castle and rescue the Queen. Nothing to it for a healthy young person like yourself. As long as you avoid the traps. And the monsters. He breeds them, you know, for a hobby, then lets them wander all over his castle: the smell is dreadful, but you’ll get used to it. Stupid things, monsters - most of them. They shouldn’t give you any trouble. Worst that can happen is they’ll eat you.’

He stops, as if he has just remembered something, then goes on, ‘Oh yes, you might as well kill Ansalom while you’re at it. Thorough-going nuisance, that man. Always blighting people’s corn and stealing their pigs and drying up their moats, not to mention kidnapping Queens. So you just kill him. Otherwise he’ll kill you, of course - he's that sort.’

He spreads his hands. ‘So you see, it isn’t much of a job, really. I’d do it myself if I wasn’t so busy. So you just cut along now, Pip, and… Wait. I forgot something.’

So saying, Merlin dives beneath the table with surprisingly agility for such an old man and drags out a large oak chest, bound in iron bands. ‘You’ll need this,’ he says, opening the chest and taking out a sword.

‘This,’ says Merlin, ‘is the sword Excalibur Junior. A magical blade, something similar to the one I made for the King, except smaller. When you use this, you only need to roll a 4 or better to hit somebody. And when you do hit, you can add 5 to any damage caused. It talks too, although not very often. Calls itself “E.J.”‘

Merlin plunges back inside the chest. ‘And you’ll need this,’ he says, bringing out a leather jerkin which, rather miraculously, fits you to perfection. ‘Looks like leather. Feels like leather. Weighs no more than leather. But it isn’t leather: it’s dragonhide. Don’t see many jackets like this about, young Pip. As good as a suit of armour, this one. Anyone hits you when you’re wearing this and it subtracts 4 points from any damage they cause you. 4 whole points. That can make the difference between life and death.’



He closes the chest and puts it away, then walks quickly to a shelf and takes down a small casket, like a jewel box. From inside he takes three small blue glass bottles. ‘Now, potions.’ He hands you the bottles. ‘Keep those carefully. They’re Potions of Healing. A secret blend of castor oil and mugwort. Tastes foul, but it restores LIFE POINTS. Swallow one of these and roll two dice once (or one die twice) and the score shows you how many LIFE POINTS you’ve got back. I can only spare three bottles, but each contains six doses. Try to stretch them out.’

I told you this book was very forgiving, didn’t I? We got a really good weapon, a really good armour, and a EIGHTEEN DOSES of healing potions, before we even started. But that’s not all!

Section 6 posted:

He sniffs. ‘Well, now,’ says Merlin, ‘that’s about it, isn’t it?’ He frowns. ‘No it’s not - you are stupid, Pip. You didn’t remind me to teach you magic. Won’t get far in Wizard Ansalom’s Dark Castle without a bit of magic, will you? Let me see your hands.’

Are you still there, Pip? Reeling a bit from all that, no doubt, but still there, still compos, as they say, mentis, which is an expression the Romans use to denote that you’re still in full possession of your head. Doesn’t he go on a bit, old Merlin. The Welsh are like that, of course: the only time they stop talking is when they’re singing. Fortunately Merlin doesn’t sing. Better show him your hands, Pip, otherwise he’ll go on at you forever.

‘Bit of dirt under your fingernails, I see,’ Merlin says. ‘Never mind, you can wash them later, before you meet the King. I did tell you you’d meet the King, didn’t I? Well, you will. Just as soon as you rescue the Queen and bring her back from Wizard Ansalom’s Dark Castle. You’ll get to meet the King then. If you’re still alive, that is. Might even yourself knighted, you never know. Now, where was I? Yes. Your hands.’

He stares at your hands for a moment, then goes to the table and dips the goose quill in the ink. ‘Hold still, now,’ he says. ‘Don’t fidget.’ And right there in the centre of each palm, he draws a circle with a star inside it. Draws it rather well too. Then, holding your hands tightly to steady them, he draws a second, very tiny circle on the tip of each of your two forefingers, right hand first, then the left.



‘Now,’ he says, ‘I’m going to write something down and I want you to tell me if you can read it.’ With which he tears a piece of parchment off the end of the sheet filled with calculations and writes on it with the quill, then hands it to you.

On the piece of parchment he has written the words:

FIREFINGER 1

If you speak the words aloud in answer to his question, turn to 7.
If you only nod in answer, go direct to 8.

Pip’s Stat Block posted:

LIFE POINTS: 36/36
EXPERIENCE POINTS: 0
INVENTORY:
- E.J. (hits on a 4, +5 damage)
- Dragonhide jerkin (-4 damage)
- Healing potion (heals two dice rolls) x18

Well that was longwinded. We’re still smack-dab in the middle of the introduction, but it’s another decision point. What shall we do?

Carbon dioxide
Oct 9, 2012



Of courthe hith name would be Igor, what elthe?

Anyway, point your finger at that beardy bastard and say it aloud.

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


In the interest of moving the LP along, let's take that answer. Especially because...

Section 7 posted:

No sooner have you spoken the words ‘Firefinger 1’ than a lightning bolt leaps from the tip of the forefinger of your right hand, scorching Merlin’s beard and setting light to one of the leather-bound books in the shelves. Surprising though this may be to you, Merlin seems well used to such emergencies, for he only hurls the contents of the ink pot on the book to put it out.

Turn to 8.

Yep, another fake choice. The last one for a bit though!

Section 8 posted:

’You see,’ says Merlin, ‘this is an important bit of magic I’ve given you. A spell you might say. Every time you say “Firefinger 1” a bolt of lightning will jump from the tip of your right forefinger and hit anything you’re pointing at in the same room. All you need do is point: it never misses. And it causes 10 points of damage to anything it hits. 10. Imagine that. More dangerous than a sword, that is. And if you say “Firefinger 2” the same thing will happen with your left forefinger.’

He regards you severely. ‘Now remember two things. The first is that the spell only works five times for each finger. So you have only ten Lightning Bolts in all, so don’t waste them on any nonsense like target practice or showing off. That’s the first thing. The second thing -’ and here his face grows even more grave if that is possible ‘- is that you must never, never say “Firefinger 1” or “Firefinger 2” while your hands are in your pockets, otherwise you will do yourself a dreadful injury.’

The latest fake choice has a little consequence, though: literal reading of the rules means we've just wasted one of our Lightning Bolts, so we start with nine rather than ten..

Section 8 posted:

The lone, bony finger comes up and points directly at your nose so that you begin to hope Merlin himself has no Lightning Bolts concealed in his fingers. ‘But that is not all, young Pip. No indeed. Not by a long chalk. In the palms of your hands you now have concealed two huge, magical fireballs. Two only. One in each hand. These are your most powerful weapons. They do 75 points of damage each if they hit. 75! Yes. Yes, indeed. That’s enough to put paid to old Ansalom, I’ll be bound.’ He coughs. ‘The problem is, they don’t always hit what you aim at. Have to throw dice, exactly the way you do when you’re fighting. If you can’t manage at least a 6 with two dice (or one die rolled twice) then you’ve missed. Missed completely. Wasted your Fireball; and you’ve only two altogether. So make sure to roll well. You launch your Fireball by shouting - good and loud, mark you - "Fireball Away!” Then you roll your dice to see if it’s hit anything. That’s the way to do it. Save your Fireballs if you can, Pip, and use them on Ansalom, look you, Dai bach,’ says Merlin, lapsing into Welsh in his excitement.

At which very point the conversation (or monologue, as it might be better described) there is a great commotion outside, like men pounding on the log walls and ringing bells and shouting to get somebody’s attention. Which is likely exactly what they are doing, since the drawbridge is up and there is no way in.

Merlin smiles to himself. ‘There,’ says he, ‘that will be the King’s messengers with the news of the Queen’s kidnapping. Right on time, according to the ancient pyramidic scrolls. But we’re ready for them, eh Pip? At least you are. I’ll just go and tell them you’ll sort it all out.’

And off he goes, shape-shifting into Igor in the corridor, to tell the King’s messengers that Pip, brave Pip, is all prepared to rescue Queen Guinevere from the Wizard Ansalom’s Dark Castle.

And finally we’re done talking to Merlin. Now there is only a couple more pages until we can actually start the adventure!

Section 8 posted:

THE DARK CASTLE OF THE WIZARD ANSALOM

What a scandal! What a fuss! What a fluttering in the dovecotes, to use a picturesque expression. It was panic stations throughout Camelot, throughout the whole of Avalon for that matter. The Queen kidnapped! Impossible! Such a thing had never happened before! But it had happened now.

And the way it happened was extremely creepy. No warning. No declaration of war. No attack on the castle. No peasant or noble revolt. In fact, it had been a fairly ordinary day, all things considered. There was a meeting of the Table Round in the morning, with nothing terribly exciting on the agenda. All the discussions were perfectly routine. Lancelot tabled a list of wrongs to be righted and the knights shared them out equitably. Bedevere complained about the drains (he had a thing about drains). Galahad gave a brief report on the dragon situation, which was actually well under control. Percival suggested somebody should go looking for King Pellinore, who was still lost in the forest, and everybody agreed to refer the matter to a sub-committee for further study. All absolutely routine, with not a hint of trouble.

After that, King Arthur led his usual Public Audience, during which he judged disputes and listened to complaints. (‘Please, sire, the Wizard Ansalom stole my pig.’) But even here, Ansalom was proving no more a nuisance than usual.

Queen Guinevere, meanwhile, had not attended either the Table Round or the Public Audience, since a look at both agendas had convinced her the problems were so simple even men could handle them without help. So she went off to her study to write some important letter to a Scottish cousin about the possibility of increasing his country’s haggis exports.

She was attended in the study by two ladies-in-waiting and three maids of honour, that being the usual custom at Camelot. She was also attended by a contingent of men-at-arms, an honour guard, who waited stiffly outside the door, their hands on their swords, looking fierce, that being the custom too. There was only one door into the study and consequently only one door out. It was a small room, with very few - if any - places to hide.

Nobody expected any more trouble than the occasional inkblot (and not even that, really, since the Queen was noted for her penwomanship), but all of a sudden the men-at-arms outside heard the ladies-in-waiting and the maids of honour inside suddenly begin to scream their heads off. Naturally the men drew their swords and rushed in, making a great fuss as men do in an emergency, to find the Queen had vanished.

They couldn’t get a lot of sense out of the ladies or the maids, who all claimed Guinevere had simply disappeared while she sat behind her desk. One minute there, the next minute gone, with not even a puff of smoke to mark her departure. The Sergeant-at-Arms had a shrewd suspicion they hadn’t been paying attention and called for a thorough search of the room, paying particular attention to secret panels and the like. But there proved to be no secret panels, and no Queen either. Reluctantly everyone reported back to Arthur, who was just finishing up his Public Audience when the news arrived.

Arthur was, of course, terribly upset and lost his temper for a while, shouting all sorts of threats at his guards. But he calmed down very quickly and ordered a thorough search of the entire castle, particularly of the grounds (fearing Guinevere might have fallen out of a window). When this produced no indication of the missing Queen, he began to suspect sorcery afoot; and having suspected sorcery, he naturally thought of that pig-stealing, moat-drying, crop-blighting nuisance, the Wizard Ansalom.

‘Lancelot,’ said he to his bravest knight, ‘the time has come to do something about the Wizard Ansalom. Permanently.’

This book :allears:

Section 8 posted:

And Lancelot, who was really a bit too fond of the Queen for his own good, promptly agreed. ‘I will ride, sire, this instant to the Dark Castle of the Wizard Ansalom and there I shall single-handedly fight my way through his guards and his monsters and put the villain to death with my trusty sword!’

‘Don’t talk rubbish,’ Arthur said, in no mood for that sort of chivalrous nonsense. ‘You wouldn’t get beyond the courtyard. What’s needed here is somebody devious, somebody sneaky, somebody with the sort of convoluted animal cunning which will get him past Ansalom’s tricks and traps.’

‘Merlin!’ Lancelot breathed.

‘Exactly,’ Arthur said; and forthwith dispatched messengers to Merlin’s famous log castle with the news of the Queen’s disappearance.

The messengers returned, but not with Merlin. They returned with a very nervous and confused young person, equipped with a sword that looked suspiciously like a sawn-off version of Excalibur and mumbling some nonsense about Lightning Bolts and Fireballs.

It didn’t sound much of an answer to the greatest crisis the realm had ever faced, but Arthur knew how stubborn Merlin could be, and for all the Druid was an old fool, Arthur still had a sneaking regard for his judgement. So he ordered the Quartermaster General to pack some sandwiches and fruit in a lunchbox and check out a standard issue backpack with ropes and climbing spikes and other odds and ends of use to commandos, then called a thirty-six strong guard to escort this young person to the forest on the outskirts of Wizard Ansalom’s demesne.

The guard carried out their duties as ordered, escorting the young person into the forest and leaving rather promptly on account of the magical atmosphere that surrounded anything to do with Ansalom. It was only when they returned that everyone realised they had forgotten to ask the young person’t name. As Percival remarked, they would have nothing to put on the tombstone.


And with that, we’re off! We’re off to…

Section 8 posted:

THE ADVENTURE

Well, here you are, Pip, in the dark, dank forest that lies on the approach to the Dark Castle of the Wizard Ansalom. What an adventure, eh? What a jolly jape! What a lighthearted frolic! Well, perhaps not. Let’s see what you’ve got inside your backpack: that might cheer you up.

Now, let’s see…

A coil of stout rope, fifteen metres long, which is useful. A dozen climbing spikes: could come in handy. Six good torches, their ends well dipped in pitch; a lantern and three - no, four - flasks of oil; and a tinderbox to help you light them; a lunchbox with bully-beef sandwiches and two apples; some sheets of parchment, qull and ink for mapping; and, look, a dagger for you to hide in your boot (that will give you +2 damage if you manage to stab somebody with it); some salve for wounds (restores 3 LIFE POINTS immediately, with enough for five applications); some garlic to give your sandwiches a bit of bit; a mirror made of polished metal; a hammer, some nails and a saw. There’s also a lodestone in a little pocket in the side. You can use that as a compass if you’re stuck: just mark one end and hang it from a piece of twine (there’s some twine in there if you look). It will spin a bit but end up pointing north/south. Useful enough, that lot.

It’s a nasty forest. Very gloomy; and the paths are all overgrown. Look at the way those trees are all twisted and gnarled, branches like old wizened hands reaching out at you. Notice you don’t hear any birds singing. Not one. Never mind: you’ve a choice of paths. Both look equally unpleasant. And both look as though they might be going to the Wizard Ansalom’s Dark Castle. Isn’t that annoying? Ok, Pip, which is to be: the right-hand path or the left-hand path?



If you pick the right-hand path, turn to 9.
If you pick the left-hand path, turn to 20.

First non-fake choice of the book, goons! Left or right?

Pip’s Stat Block posted:

LIFE POINTS: 36/36
EXPERIENCE POINTS: 0
INVENTORY:
E.J. (hits on a 4, +5 damage), Dragonhide jerkin (-4 damage), Healing potion (heals two dice rolls) x18, Rope (fifteen metres), Climbing spikes x12, Torch x6, Lantern, Oil flask x4, Tinderbox, Bully-beef sandwiches, Apple x2, Parchment, quill, and ink, Dagger (+2 damage), Wound salve (heals 3 LIFE POINTS) x5 Garlic, Mirror, Hammer, nails and a saw, Lodestone and twine
MAGIC:
Lightning Bolt x9 (10 damage, automatic hit), Fireball x2 (75 damage, hits on a 6 or higher)

Mikl fucked around with this message at 14:26 on Apr 12, 2015

peachsynapse
Dec 22, 2007

The sea monsters appreciate your good taste.

These books~! I read 'em and re-read 'em as a kid. Don't remember them now, of course. Also, mostly read them in French. Still: these books~!

Go left!

Leave
Feb 7, 2012

Taking the term "Koopaling" to a whole new level since 2016.


Let's go left. I heard most people decide a random direction by taking their dominant hand and that's my off-hand, so left seems like a solid choice.

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


You wanted to go left, then we shall :goleft:

(I have no idea what the :goleft: smilie is supposed to represent.)

Section 8 posted:

If you pick the right-hand path, turn to 9.
If you pick the left-hand path, turn to 20.

Section 20 posted:

The path gets narrower and more and more overgrown. Eventually you find you are actually having to push your way through the undergrowth. Then, suddenly and without warning, you are in a clearing; and in the middle of the clearing is the ruin of an old stone building, a ruined abbey perhaps, with ivy clinging to the walls.



Since there doesn't seem to be any immediate way out of the clearing, it may be no bad idea to explore the ruin. Even if it is haunted, which, of course, it isn't. Nobody believes in ghosts nowadays. Except it isn't nowadays, isn't it? It's back in the days of King Arthur. Oh, dear.

As you are a brave soul, you explore anyway, despite the ghosts. As you enter the ruin, you feel a sudden chill. It seems darker even than the gloomy forest. There are small scuffling sounds in the crumbling walls.

'Stop. Halt. Cease. Not one step further, what?'

A man's voice. And out of the gloom steps (or rather clanks) a massive figure in jet-black armour.

'Halt! I say,' he says, even though you have certainly halted. 'Who are you? What are you doing here? Speak up and answer before I slit your gizzard!'

Could this be the notorious Black Knight your adopted father, Freeman John, used to speak about in whispers by the fireside of an evening? If it is, he is known as the most evil, fearsome opponent in the realm (next to the Wizard Ansalom, of course).

If you feel like fighting him, turn to 17.
If you don't (and who could blame you), speak to him politely and turn to 25.

Pip’s Stat Block posted:

LIFE POINTS: 36/36
EXPERIENCE POINTS: 0
INVENTORY:
E.J. (hits on a 4, +5 damage), Dragonhide jerkin (-4 damage), Healing potion (heals two dice rolls) x18, Rope (fifteen metres), Climbing spikes x12, Torch x6, Lantern, Oil flask x4, Tinderbox, Bully-beef sandwiches, Apple x2, Parchment, quill, and ink, Dagger (+2 damage), Wound salve (heals 3 LIFE POINTS) x5, Garlic, Mirror, Hammer, nails and a saw, Lodestone and twine
MAGIC:
Lightning Bolt x9 (10 damage, automatic hit), Fireball x2 (75 damage, hits on a 6 or higher)

First: I've decided to TIMG the illustrations from now on, since they were taking a lot of space in the updates.
Second: I think the book just called us chicken. Are we going to stand for it?

Leave
Feb 7, 2012

Taking the term "Koopaling" to a whole new level since 2016.


Surely defeating the Black Knight will gain us plenty of prestige and maybe we can take his sword afterward.

FIGHT HIM! :black101:

inflatablefish
Oct 24, 2010


Politeness is an important part of Chivalry, and might just head off the inevitable Monty Python quotes. Let's talk to him!

peachsynapse
Dec 22, 2007

The sea monsters appreciate your good taste.

Awwwk buck buck buck. Talk to him!

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


You're no fun :colbert:

Section 20 posted:

If you feel like fighting him, turn to 17.
If you don't (and who could blame you), speak to him politely and turn to 25.

Section 25 posted:

'What's that?' asks the Black Knight. 'Pip, you say? Well, Pip, it's no place for a young person to be wandering. Get lost very easily. Don't tell me - I've been lost for weeks.'

At which he removes his helmet to reveal a florid, but otherwise friendly face. 'King Pellinore at your service,' he says. 'Well, not exactly at your service, since I've work to do. But nice to have met you just the same.'

Then he takes his leave of you, mounting a sag-backed old horse tethered at the back of the ruins and riding off to disappear into the depths of the forest, silly old fool.

If you search carefully, you will find a path out of the clearing which eventually takes you to 22.

Section 22 posted:

On this path you eventually note a junction on your right which joins up with the path described in 10. If you have already been that way, you will presumably ignore it. If not, you are free to take that route if you please.

Assuming you continue on the main path, you will travel for nearly half a mile before reaching a leafy screen. Break through that and, can you believe, you are in sight of...

THE WIZARD ANSALOM'S DARK CASTLE!

Turn quickly to 19.

We'll come back to that junction later. For now, since the path is clear, let's continue until the next decision point.

Section 19 posted:

This is it, Pip. This is where the trouble really starts. This is the Wizard Ansalom's Dark Castle. Just look at it, looming up there out of the mists like some huge, sodden tombstone. Seven towers (count them) and not one under twenty metres in height. Great dank stone walls, dripping slime. And a still, dark moat that's probably full of the most loathsome creatures you could imagine. Did you ever see such an evil-looking place? Fear sets your teeth on edge to think of the lovely Queen Guinevere languishing in some deep dungeon inside.



The drawbridge is down, Pip, and the portcullis raised. Not a guard in sight. They say the Wizard Ansalom doesn't need them: nobody in their right mind would risk entering his Castle without an invitation. so he leaves the drawbridge down and the portcullis open. "Come into my parlour," said the spider...

There are monsters in there, Pip. And traps and tricks and all manner of evil magics, so they say. But the Queen is there too, so there's nothing else for it but to put on a brave face, keep old EJ handy, and put the best foot forward.

Just a couple of points before you start, Pip. the Castle lies directly in front of you, to the north. From now on, all your directions will be given as north, south, east or west. (Which is handy for drawing a map: and you'll certainly need a map, especially if you're killed and have to go back again.)

Directly ahead of you (i.e. north) is a hundred metres wide area of barren, stony scrubland, then the moat, drawbridge and ghastly Castle. Off you go, Pip, onwards to 23. And good luck.

Section 23 posted:

Having crossed the drawbridge and entered the enclosed archway tunnel which leads to the open portcullis, you have a choice of making a dash for the portcullis before it closes, or creeping along carefully and slowly, examining everything as you go.

If you make a dash for it, turn to 30.
If you creep along slowly and carefully, turn to 13.

As an alternative to the above, we can go back a couple section and explore the path that leads to 10, and then come back to the castle. Your choice.

Pip’s Stat Block posted:

LIFE POINTS: 36/36
EXPERIENCE POINTS: 0
INVENTORY:
E.J. (hits on a 4, +5 damage), Dragonhide jerkin (-4 damage), Healing potion (heals two dice rolls) x18, Rope (fifteen metres), Climbing spikes x12, Torch x6, Lantern, Oil flask x4, Tinderbox, Bully-beef sandwiches, Apple x2, Parchment, quill, and ink, Dagger (+2 damage), Wound salve (heals 3 LIFE POINTS) x5, Garlic, Mirror, Hammer, nails and a saw, Lodestone and twine
MAGIC:
Lightning Bolt x9 (10 damage, automatic hit), Fireball x2 (75 damage, hits on a 6 or higher)

inflatablefish
Oct 24, 2010


You know, that does look like quite a scary tower. And dark.

Section 10, you say? Let's go!

Ghostwoods
May 9, 2013

Say "Cheese!"


Mousy and shy, my boys. Mousy and shy. 13

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


Pardon the thread bump, I wanna see if we can get a tiebreaker vote here. Otherwise I'll just flip a coin or something.

Eeepies
May 29, 2013

No, that's Magic!


Let's creep really slowly along.

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


Section 23 posted:

If you make a dash for it, turn to 30.
If you creep along slowly and carefully, turn to 13.

Section 13 posted:

You notice a series of holes in the tunnel above your head and by keeping close to the walls, manage to avoid the boiling oil which suddenly pours through them. You reach the portcullis in one piece and thus gain entry to 32.

I get the feeling we're not welcome.

Section 32 posted:

You have entered a vast, open courtyard, its unflagged floor composed of beaten earth. Fifty metres north are closed wooden double doors set in the far wall of the courtyard. Over by the eastern wall are two carts, six crates and about a dozen barrels. Stone steps on the western wall lead upwards to the battlements and towers. There are about a hundred Chickens, scratching about in the courtyard.

If you run directly towards the double doors in the north wall, turn to 15.
If you move east to examine the carts and barrels, turn to 18.
If you move west to climb the steps to the battlements, turn to 29.
If you stop to have a little chat with the Chickens, turn to 27.

Pip’s Stat Block posted:

LIFE POINTS: 36/36
EXPERIENCE POINTS: 0
INVENTORY:
E.J. (hits on a 4, +5 damage), Dragonhide jerkin (-4 damage), Healing potion (heals two dice rolls) x18, Rope (fifteen metres), Climbing spikes x12, Torch x6, Lantern, Oil flask x4, Tinderbox, Bully-beef sandwiches, Apple x2, Parchment, quill, and ink, Dagger (+2 damage), Wound salve (heals 3 LIFE POINTS) x5, Garlic, Mirror, Hammer, nails and a saw, Lodestone and twine
MAGIC:
Lightning Bolt x9 (10 damage, automatic hit), Fireball x2 (75 damage, hits on a 6 or higher)

Ghostwoods
May 9, 2013

Say "Cheese!"


We need to talk to the chickens! They're probably enchanted sages full of great advice, or a well-disguised hag, or something.

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


They're enchanted all right!

Section 27 posted:

Dumb move, Pip. These are Savage Chickens. The Wizard Ansalom breeds them as courtyard guards.

The Savage Chickens fling themselves on you (savagely) and though each peck only does 1 LIFE POINT of damage, there are so many of them that they could easily kill you. Roll two dice to find out what happens.

Score 1-6 and the Savage Chickens peck you to death. Go to 14.
Score 7-10 and you escape with half your current LIFE POINTS. Go to 32 and reconsider your options.
Score 11 or 12 and you manage to fight off the Savage Chickens without injury. Go to 32 and reconsider your options (the Chickens won't attack again).

Rolling dice... 2 + 3 = 5! :ohdear:

:siren: Death the first: pecked to death by Savage Chickens. :siren:

Section 14 posted:

You're dead. Dead as a coffin nail. Finished. Done for. The late Pip. Draw a thick black border round this Section for future reference. You may be back here again before you're much older.

Most people get deaded sooner or later the first few times they try to go through this adventure. Don't get too depressed about it. What you have to do now is go back to the beginning of the forest, where the King's Guard left you, and try again. You'll rescue the Queen sooner or later. What's more, you can safely ignore the monsters and villains you have killed the first time round, since these will only be harmless ghosts and illusons when you go in again.

When you go back, you'll need to roll up your LIFE POINTS again. No good trying to return to your adventure with no LIFE POINTS. So roll them up exactly as you did the first time. And here's a tip. Draw a map as you go along. Especially a map of the Wizard Ansalom's Dark Castle. It will help you find your way around a lot better the second time. Make a note on the map of what you encountered. Second time around, a map is as good as an extra sword - even an extra Fireball.

Now back you go to the beginning of the forest, Pip. With luck you won't be seen round here again.


And with that, the gamebook plops you right at the start of the adventure. Luckily we don't have to go through all the long-winded speeches again, but we do have to re-roll our LIFE POINTS. What was it, throw two dice three times, then take the highest result and multiply by four, right?

3 + 3 = 6
4 + 5 = 9
5 + 5 = 10

So that's 40 LIFE POINTS this time.

Now, we have to decide what to do. We can march right back to the Wizard Ansalom's Dark Castle and choose another path from the courtyard (go to the north doors at 15, examining the carts and barrels at 18, or climbing the battlements at 29), or we can take the right-hand path to 9 right at the beginning and see where it leads.

Pip’s Stat Block posted:

LIFE POINTS: :siren: 40/40 :siren:
EXPERIENCE POINTS: 0
INVENTORY:
E.J. (hits on a 4, +5 damage), Dragonhide jerkin (-4 damage), Healing potion (heals two dice rolls) x18, Rope (fifteen metres), Climbing spikes x12, Torch x6, Lantern, Oil flask x4, Tinderbox, Bully-beef sandwiches, Apple x2, Parchment, quill, and ink, Dagger (+2 damage), Wound salve (heals 3 LIFE POINTS) x5, Garlic, Mirror, Hammer, nails and a saw, Lodestone and twine
MAGIC:
Lightning Bolt x9 (10 damage, automatic hit), Fireball x2 (75 damage, hits on a 6 or higher)

Mikl fucked around with this message at 09:06 on Apr 16, 2015

Cthulhu Dreams
Dec 11, 2010

If I pretend to be Cthulhu no one will know I'm a baseball robot.


Can we go back and see section 10? I'm conscious it's blocked, so let's do it on the way in as Pip 2 Pip harder.

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


Cthulhu Dreams posted:

Can we go back and see section 10? I'm conscious it's blocked, so let's do it on the way in as Pip 2 Pip harder.

Both paths lead to the Castle, so if we take the path to 9 we'll eventually end up passing through 10, so I can count your post as a vote for 9 if it's alright with you. Or would you prefer following the same path as the late First Pip and go to 10 from there?

Ghostwoods
May 9, 2013

Say "Cheese!"


Mikl posted:

Both paths lead to the Castle, so if we take the path to 9 we'll eventually end up passing through 10, so I can count your post as a vote for 9 if it's alright with you. Or would you prefer following the same path as the late First Pip and go to 10 from there?

Sounds like a good plan to me!

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


Alright then, let's go!

Section 9 posted:

You follow the right-hand path (which twists and turns a lot) with no more incident than the odd bramble bush tearing at your clothing, until about 400 metres further on where you reach a clearing. At the far side of the clearing, the path branches again, right and left. But before you pick one of these two new paths, you have a bit of a problem. There's a Wolf in the clearing. It's a big, savage-looking grey brute and it's sniffing the air as if it's caught the scent of your bully-beef sandwiches. Or you.

Why hello there, mr. Wolf :stare:

Section 9 posted:

This is time for quick thinking, Pip. You can run like mad back the way you came and hope the Wolf doesn't catch you. You can fight the Wolf, then pick your new path if you kill it. You can try making friends with it by offering a bit of bully-beefsandwich.

If you run back, turn to 11.
If you decide to fight the Wolf, turn to 21.
If you want to try to make friends, turn to 31.

The book doesn't provide an illustration for the Wolf. Luckily, I have a photo to show you!

(Wolf may not be to scale.)

It's also interesting how the book capitalizes some words. It lets you know which things are Important.

Pip’s Stat Block posted:

LIFE POINTS: 40/40
EXPERIENCE POINTS: 0
INVENTORY:
E.J. (hits on a 4, +5 damage), Dragonhide jerkin (-4 damage), Healing potion (heals two dice rolls) x18, Rope (fifteen metres), Climbing spikes x12, Torch x6, Lantern, Oil flask x4, Tinderbox, Bully-beef sandwiches, Apple x2, Parchment, quill, and ink, Dagger (+2 damage), Wound salve (heals 3 LIFE POINTS) x5, Garlic, Mirror, Hammer, nails and a saw, Lodestone and twine
MAGIC:
Lightning Bolt x9 (10 damage, automatic hit), Fireball x2 (75 damage, hits on a 6 or higher)

inflatablefish
Oct 24, 2010


Make friends, make friends, never never break friends.

Leave
Feb 7, 2012

Taking the term "Koopaling" to a whole new level since 2016.


A wolf friend could come in handy. Befriend him!

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.



Clapping Larry

Friendship train may have derailed at chickens, but it's pulling into Wolf Station.

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


Section 9 posted:

If you run back, turn to 11.
If you decide to fight the Wolf, turn to 21.

If you want to try to make friends, turn to 31.

Your funeral. Or is it?

Section 31 posted:

Trying to make friends, huh? What a dumb thing to do. Still, it's your choice. Take out your bit of bully beef and walk (slowly) towards that ravening Wolf. Hold the beef out and say things like 'Nice Wolf... that's a pretty Wolf... Beautiful Wolf... good Wolf...'

Now roll one die.

If you score 3 or more (good heavens!) the Wolf will take the beef, give your hand a bit of a lick, and let you go on your way unmolested. This means you can now either go back and take the path to 20, go on and take the new right-hand path to 10, or go on and take the new left-hand path which leads to 22.

If you score a 1 or 2, the Wolf takes your throat out. Turn direct to 14.

:rolldice:

6! The die was good this time, and we've made friend with a Wolf :dance:

Now, we've already seen the path to 20, and 22 takes us directly to the Castle, so let's take the path that leads to 10.

Section 10 posted:

This path is fairly open, fairly easy going for several hundred metres. Eventually it begins to swing left until up ahead you can see it joins another path. Unfortunately, between you and the intersection, there is a wild Boar. The bad-tempered beast has seen you and it's charging. No choice here, Pip. You fight it or get killed.



The Boar has 25 LIFE POINTS. It does +4 damage if it gets its tusks in you. Roll dice to see which of you gets in the first blow.

If you kill the Boar, go on to the intersection. This joins your path to the path leading to 22.
If the Boar kills you, go to 14.
If the Boar knocks you out you will wake up twenty minutes later with the Boar gone. Proceed to 22.

Sometimes this book is nice like this, giving us a double to survive an encounter.

Also, the +4 damage the Boar does is effectively negated by our dragonhide jerkin, which gives -4 damage. And remember that E.J. hits on a 4 and gives us +5 damage! (Literal reading of the rules, though, means we only do attack damage on a 7 or higher, but the +5 still applies.)

Rolling initiative: Pip 4 + 1 = 5, Boar 5 + 6 = 11, the Boar goes first.

Boar attacks! 1 + 6 = 7, Pip is hit for 1 LIFE POINT and is down to 39.
Pip attacks! 3 + 4 = 7, the Boar is hit for 1 + 5 = 6 LIFE POINTS and is down to 19.
Boar attacks! 4 + 2 = 6, Pip dodges.
Pip attacks! 6 + 6 = 12, A CRITICAL HIT, the Boar is hit for 6 + 5 = 11 LIFE POINTS and is down to 8.
Boar attacks! 1 + 5 = 6, Pip once again dodges.
Pip attacks! 1 + 3 = 4, the Boar is hit (thanks to E.J.) for 5 LIFE POINTS, is down to 3, and falls unconcious.

That went better than expected! The dice were nice to us this time around.

Now we take the path to 22, which eventually takes us back to the Castle courtyard at 32, and we have three choices from there:

Section 32 posted:

You have entered a vast, open courtyard, its unflagged floor composed of beaten earth. Fifty metres north are closed wooden double doors set in the far wall of the courtyard. Over by the eastern wall are two carts, six crates and about a dozen barrels. Stone steps on the western wall lead upwards to the battlements and towers. There are about a hundred Chickens, scratching about in the courtyard.

If you run directly towards the double doors in the north wall, turn to 15.
If you move east to examine the carts and barrels, turn to 18.
If you move west to climb the steps to the battlements, turn to 29.
If you stop to have a little chat with the Chickens, turn to 27.

Also, I have something for you. The book said we should draw a map, and I've drawn a map!



Pip’s Stat Block posted:

LIFE POINTS: :siren: 39/40 :siren:
EXPERIENCE POINTS: :siren: 2 :siren:
INVENTORY:
E.J. (hits on a 4, +5 damage), Dragonhide jerkin (-4 damage), Healing potion (heals two dice rolls) x18, Rope (fifteen metres), Climbing spikes x12, Torch x6, Lantern, Oil flask x4, Tinderbox, :siren: Bully-beef sandwiches :siren:, Apple x2, Parchment, quill, and ink, Dagger (+2 damage), Wound salve (heals 3 LIFE POINTS) x5, :siren: Garlic :siren:, Mirror, Hammer, nails and a saw, Lodestone and twine
MAGIC:
Lightning Bolt x9 (10 damage, automatic hit), Fireball x2 (75 damage, hits on a 6 or higher)

(I've removed the garlic from the inventory since it WAS in the sandwiches, after all.)

Mikl fucked around with this message at 15:50 on Apr 18, 2015

inflatablefish
Oct 24, 2010


Let's examine the carts and the barrels. Loot early, loot often.

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


Section 18 posted:

The carts are in a pretty broken-down condition and are more or less unusable. Two of the crates contain old sacks, one is full of rotten apples and the rest are empty. Three of the barrels contain cider, the rest wine.

If you drink any cider, turn to 12.
If you drink any wine, turn to 16.
If you leave this load of old rubbish and go to the double doors in the north wall, turn to 33.
If you move west to climb the steps to the battlements, turn to 29.

Is Pip even old enough to drink? Or was legal drinking age not a thing in the days of yore?

Pip’s Stat Block posted:

LIFE POINTS: 39/40
EXPERIENCE POINTS: 2
INVENTORY:
E.J. (hits on a 4, +5 damage), Dragonhide jerkin (-4 damage), Healing potion (heals two dice rolls) x18, Rope (fifteen metres), Climbing spikes x12, Torch x6, Lantern, Oil flask x4, Tinderbox, Bully-beef sandwiches, Apple x2, Parchment, quill, and ink, Dagger (+2 damage), Wound salve (heals 3 LIFE POINTS) x5, Garlic, Mirror, Hammer, nails and a saw, Lodestone and twine
MAGIC:
Lightning Bolt x9 (10 damage, automatic hit), Fireball x2 (75 damage, hits on a 6 or higher)

zedar
Dec 3, 2010

Your leader


Pip is almost certainly not old enough to drink. He should head to the battlements to remove himself from temptation.

FredMSloniker
Jan 2, 2008

Why, yes, I do like Kirby games.


CHUG! CHUG! CHUG! CHUG! CHUG! CHUG! CHUG! CHUG! (The cider, specifically.)

Leave
Feb 7, 2012

Taking the term "Koopaling" to a whole new level since 2016.


We should have some cider.

I heard he put peanuts in it.

inflatablefish
Oct 24, 2010


I am a cider drinker!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5SX3A-ifME

peachsynapse
Dec 22, 2007

The sea monsters appreciate your good taste.

Cider will put some hair on Pip's chest.

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


Cider it is, then!

Section 18 posted:

If you drink any cider, turn to 12.
If you drink any wine, turn to 16.
If you leave this load of old rubbish and go to the double doors in the north wall, turn to 33.
If you move west to climb the steps to the battlements, turn to 29.

Section 12 posted:

Good cider. Don't take too much or you'll get drunk. Go to 32 when you've finished and decide what you want to do now.

Section 32 posted:

You have entered a vast, open courtyard, its unflagged floor composed of beaten earth. Fifty metres north are closed wooden double doors set in the far wall of the courtyard. Over by the eastern wall are two carts, six crates and about a dozen barrels. Stone steps on the western wall lead upwards to the battlements and towers. There are about a hundred Chickens, scratching about in the courtyard.

If you run directly towards the double doors in the north wall, turn to 15.
If you move east to examine the carts and barrels, turn to 18.
If you move west to climb the steps to the battlements, turn to 29.
If you stop to have a little chat with the Chickens, turn to 27.

And we're back in the courtyard. Only two ways we haven't explored left!



Pip’s Stat Block posted:

LIFE POINTS: 39/40
EXPERIENCE POINTS: 2
INVENTORY:
E.J. (hits on a 4, +5 damage), Dragonhide jerkin (-4 damage), Healing potion (heals two dice rolls) x18, Rope (fifteen metres), Climbing spikes x12, Torch x6, Lantern, Oil flask x4, Tinderbox, Bully-beef sandwiches, Apple x2, Parchment, quill, and ink, Dagger (+2 damage), Wound salve (heals 3 LIFE POINTS) x5, Garlic, Mirror, Hammer, nails and a saw, Lodestone and twine
MAGIC:
Lightning Bolt x9 (10 damage, automatic hit), Fireball x2 (75 damage, hits on a 6 or higher)

inflatablefish
Oct 24, 2010


Well that was disappointingly pointless. Let's check out the battlements before we take on the main keep.

Ghostwoods
May 9, 2013

Say "Cheese!"


Battlements it is.

Also, I can't help but feel that we ought to have taken a couple of chunks of garlic out of the sandwich before giving it to the wolf. Wolves probably don't even like garlic. GARLIC!

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


Section 32 posted:

If you run directly towards the double doors in the north wall, turn to 15.
If you move east to examine the carts and barrels, turn to 18.

If you move west to climb the steps to the battlements, turn to 29.
If you stop to have a little chat with the Chickens, turn to 27.

Section 29 posted:

You climb the stone steps to the battlements and...

In the print version of the book I have, you actually have to turn the page to keep reading this section :suspense:
Nice touch, if you ask me.

Section 29 posted:

Good grief! the battlements and towers are guarded by a horde of Archer Insects! These horrifying creatures are nearly two metres tall, each one looking for all the world like a giant Preying Mantis, each one armed with a bow and a quiver of twenty arrows. There are hundreds of them skulking up here! No chance to fight so many. Roll two dice to find out if you can make it safely back down the steps to the yard.

Score 1-4 and you're skewered with 750 arrows, killing you instantly. Go to 14.
Score 5-8 and you are wounded by three arrows (total damage 10 LIFE POINTS) but make it back to the yard. Return to 32 and reconsider your options.
Score 9-12 and you reach the yard safely without being wounded. Return to 32 and reconsider your options.

Rolled 6 + 2 = 8, we lose 10 LIFE POINTS but make it back.

(10-year-old me always wondered why the Archer Insects don't follow you down the steps. Limitations of the medium, I guess.)

Now we're back at 32, and only one way left to go! Onwards to 15, to the double doors!

Section 15 posted:

As you reach the centre of the courtyard, you fall down a secret trapdoor, well hidden and covered with compressed earth. Go to 36.

Section 36 posted:

You are in a gloomy, stone-flagged corridor, three metres wide, three metres high, with rough stone walls, dripping slightly with dampness and covered in mildew. (If you fell in through the trapdoor, deduct 5 LIFE POINTS: there are easier ways of getting here.)

That there are! What happened here?
Well, the sharp-eyed among you might have noted something peculiar: in Section 32, if we want to go to the double doors (directly to the double doors, as the text helpfully points out), we are instructed to go to Section 15. However, when we go check out the carts and barrels in Section 18, we have the option of going from there to the double doors, at Section 33. This means we don't cross the centre of the courtyard, and we don't fall down the pit.

Section 36 posted:

Behind you is the iron-runged ladder to the trapdoor and courtyard above, and behind that is a solid stone wall. Before you, running north-east a distance of twenty metres, is the unlit corridor. Better get your torch lit, Pip, or your lantern. When you do so, you will see dimly that the corridor seems to open up into some sort of cave mouth at the far end.

If you plan to follow the corridor (and, honestly, what else can you do?) go to 53.

Here we have a decision to make: we can go down the corridor, or climb back up the ladder and (avoiding the pit this time) go check out what's behind those double doors.



Pip’s Stat Block posted:

LIFE POINTS: :siren: 24/40 :siren:
EXPERIENCE POINTS: 2
INVENTORY:
E.J. (hits on a 4, +5 damage), Dragonhide jerkin (-4 damage), Healing potion (heals two dice rolls) x18, Rope (fifteen metres), Climbing spikes x12, Torch x6, Lantern, Oil flask x4, Tinderbox, Bully-beef sandwiches, Apple x2, Parchment, quill, and ink, Dagger (+2 damage), Wound salve (heals 3 LIFE POINTS) x5, Garlic, Mirror, Hammer, nails and a saw, Lodestone and twine
MAGIC:
Lightning Bolt x9 (10 damage, automatic hit), Fireball x2 (75 damage, hits on a 6 or higher)

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Ghostwoods
May 9, 2013

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