Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stealing from Gamebooks #2 - Citadel of Chaos

Well, recovering from my first experience as a barista, as my wife's monthly craft market's usual coffee van couldn't make it, so she volunteered me and my home espresso machine for the day.  Not bad - 17 coffees and 4 hot chocolates, mostly in a half hour rush at 10:30. It's not a bad job.  You give people coffee and they give you money and are appreciative. Sort of like a legal drug dealer. Although the concentration required to get a reasonably good home setup producing continuously good shots takes a lot of concentration.

Anyway, next on my pillaging list is The Citadel of Chaos.  Harder and more whimsical than the Warlock, Balthus Dire has the strangest friends...

What have I picked up?

-An enchanted throwing dagger. Shiny metal blade, strange green leather hilt inlaid with strange dark gems. There are dark stories of the Assassin's Blade. It is usually discovered in the treasure hordes of minor beasts, and used for acts of daring and murder. Used in hand-to-hand combat, it conveys no advantages, but when thrown, it never misses (target has to be within reasonable range, and visible, and reachable) and does 2d6 damage (this is in Dragon Warriors, where you start off with between d6+4 and d6+7 health points, and if you're lucky, gain one a level). It then vanishes, presumably to be found by a minor beast...

-An Unusual Trap. A rack of wine bottles. When the trap is triggered, they start firing out at the party - wither bottles, or their corks. Either way, the shock makes them think they are under attack, minor damage (if unlucky) and a heap of noise and mess.

-Slumberberries. A twisted shrub, with diamond shaped leaves and small flat berries, that give the shrub it's name.

-Hogweed Essence. Repels stone-based creatures. Why not? Random name, useful effect.

-A Charmed Amulet. Actually, despite it's high asking price, it's merely a jewel of light set in a precious metal pendant. However, it does convey a sense of luck and protection. And thinking about it, jewels of light should be one of the most common treasures anywhere where adventurers tread, given their lack of survival rate.

-Sewer Snake. Yes, it's a snake, that looks like a rope, and hangs around in sewers. Fun for the whole family!

-The Rhino-man. I've got a kingdom of beastmen pencilled in, far to the south, as civilised and intelligent as humans. But although they are more powerful individually, their bestial nature sometimes clouds their judgement. And here's another 'type' to add.

-The Miks. Fey, other-worldly, and Masters of Illusion. No-one knows what their true form is - rumoured to be a thin, gracile elf-like race. They are aggressive, and use thin stiletto-like daggers. They can appear in any form, man, beast or object, but cannot use metal in any disguise and cannot cast illusions over any other objects. If encountered, they commonly drift from one form to another, confusing most watchers. They can be bribed with magical items or potions, however, even though they serve the forces of Chaos.

-Calacorms. Two headed lizard men, grey with long tails, from windswept rocky deserts. Simple minded, deathly afraid of mice, contented with little and reliable to carry out repetitive tasks, even though the two heads constantly bicker and argue.

-Dungeon chamber setup - a small chamber with a stone altar in the middle, holding three silver chalices with different coloured liquids, while a number of gremlins fly around near the ceiling. Drink the potions, or mix them together? Attack the gremlins, or see which chalice they are drinking out of?

-And Balthus Dire.  THAT"S what a sorcerer warlord should look like. Along with distinctive hair. There's another, better quality picture of him out there in the interweb, but he's wearing Roman sandals and walking the lizard, which does not behove an Evil Warlord.

Again, all pictures drawn by and probably still the property of Russ Nicholson.

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