Read The Legacy of Vashna Online

Authors: Joe Dever

Tags: #Fiction, #Fantasy, #Lone Wolf, #Magnamund

The Legacy of Vashna (7 page)

BOOK: The Legacy of Vashna
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30

You sense a hostile psychic presence about them, an evil mind-energy which is growing stronger as they draw nearer.

If you possess Kai-surge and have reached the rank of Sun Lord,
turn to 229
.

If you do not possess this Discipline, or if you have yet to attain this level of Kai rank,
turn to 142
.

31

You stand perfectly still and concentrate on attaining the trance state needed in order to effect your transition from consciousness to suspended animation. You feel as if you are drifting off to sleep, although you have entered a state in which you appear, to any outside observer, to be dead.

High above you, the unseen creature probes the fog for evidence of life-force. Unable to detect any, it trails away to another part of this hellish plane in search of prey with which to feed its young. You hear the winged beast departing and you bring yourself out of the death-trance, awaking with a start.

Turn to 233
.

32

The shoreline trail winds away from Lake Vorndarol and slowly ascends to a chalky plateau which is covered with dense scrub. Small groups of ragged-looking birds are perched on this foliage, feeding on its brightly coloured blooms. As you pass by, you reach out and grab a handful of these yellow flowers which smell sickly-sweet.

If you wish to taste these blooms,
turn to 293
.

If you decide to discard them and continue your ride,
turn to 18
.

33

The alley is pitch dark but this causes you little difficulty. Using your Magnakai skill of Huntmastery, you can pick out the way ahead with ease. Your horse is not so gifted, but he trusts to your guiding hand to avoid the stinking debris and broken glass which lie strewn across the cobblestones. You are nearing a street at the alley's end when you hear the
click
of a door latch. You halt, and from an archway to your left you see two men emerge. One is a wiry figure, partially bald; the other, a swarthy-faced villain with ragged ears and greasy blond hair. Daggers gleam dully in their hands as they advance towards you with murder in their eyes.

Silently you unsheathe your weapon. A few moments later, when you re-sheathe it, it is slick with the blood of these two footpads. A search of their pockets nets you six Gold Crowns and enough food for one Meal. (Remember to adjust your
Action Chart
accordingly.)

Anxious to leave, you remount your horse and turn him to face the street at the end of the alley.

Turn to 16
.

34

Swiftly you sidestep the oncoming wave of automatons and leave them hacking uselessly at the air with their swords. The Demoness is putting on an armoured breastplate of varnished black steel, and she is kneeling to allow her attendants to fasten the straps. They are clumsy, and she is distracted and does not see you approaching dangerously close to the dais and the Deathstaff until it is too late. You grab the staff's cold, metallic haft and instantly you feel the terrible power that is locked within its core.

If you possess Helshezag — the sword of Darklord Kraagenskûl,
turn to 94
.

If you do not possess this Special Item,
turn to 225
.

35

Bloodied and breathless from the exertion of combat, you break off the fight and take to your heels. The remaining brigands give chase, but they soon lose you among the dense pines and call off their pursuit. The area is alive with bandits and you are forced to flee northwards, away from the place where you left Bracer tethered to a tree. You are anxious for his safety and mindful that there are still many miles to be covered before you reach Lake Vorndarol, but you dare not turn back for him. Then you hear something that makes you halt in your tracks: it is the sound of a horse whinnying.

Turn to 223
.

36

You draw on your defensive skill of Mindblend to protect and keep hidden your psyche from the attacking horde. The Vortexi are psychic creatures who actively seek out their prey by the strength of their mind waves. Your Discipline disrupts this homing process and many, in the final few hundred yards of their dive, fail to lock on to your location and waste their attack.

But there are still those among the horde who sense accurately where you are. When they attack, you are forced to defend yourself vigorously.

Vortexi:
COMBAT SKILL
 40   
ENDURANCE
 22

For every level of Kai rank you have attained above that of Kai Grand Guardian, you may add 2 to your
COMBAT SKILL
for the duration of this fight. If you possess the Sommerswerd, restore 5 points to your
ENDURANCE
points score.

If you win the combat,
turn to 46
.

37

In your desperation to prevent the Elder from sounding the alarm, you lash out with your clenched fist and punch him squarely on the jaw.

Pick a number from the
Random Number Table
.

If the number you have picked is 0–4,
turn to 333
.

If it is 5–9,
turn to 134
.

38

You survive the fall to the street without breaking any bones, but you are knocked unconscious when your head strikes the wet cobblestones. For more than an hour you lie there until you regain consciousness. Bruised, bloodied, and with a sorely aching head, you are further dismayed to discover that while you have been lying in the street, you have also been robbed.

Pick a number from the
Random Number Table
(0=10). The number you have picked is equal to the number of
ENDURANCE
points lost as a result of the fall. It is also equal to the number of Gold Crowns which have been stolen from your Belt Pouch, and the number of items which have gone missing from your Backpack (adjust your
Action Chart
accordingly).

Cursing your luck and the thieves of this foul city, you wearily retrace your steps back to the stables of the Crooked Sage in order to collect your horse.

Turn to 341
.

39

You use your Magnakai Curing skills to staunch the flow of blood pouring from your gashed neck, and to mend torn muscle, but it takes several minutes before you feel the blood flow and the pain subsiding. Strength is beginning to return to your aching limbs when half a dozen loutish brigands come rushing across the rocks towards you, brandishing swords and daggers in their hands. You pull yourself wearily to your feet and unsheathe your weapon as they rush at you, stabbing and hacking with their gleaming blades.

Vakovarian Brigands:
COMBAT SKILL
 38   
ENDURANCE
 38

Due to your wound and the speed of their attack, unless you possess Grand Huntmastery you must reduce your
COMBAT SKILL
by 5 for the first three rounds of this combat.

You may evade combat after six rounds by
turning to 59
.

If you win the fight,
turn to 348
.

40

You whisper the words of the Brotherhood spell
Lightning Hand
and point at the onrushing acolytes. A tingling sensation runs down the length of your arm which culminates with a bolt of blue-white energy. It shoots from your index finger and explodes between them, killing them instantly.

Turn to 325
.

41

You hurry up the path and join the end of the procession. Moments later, two Elders go rushing past you on either side, screaming and cursing in an attempt to rally those acolytes who are fleeing down the track in confusion. You allow yourself a wry smile as you adjust the hood on your robe and raise your torch on high.

Turn to 250
.

42

You sheathe your weapon, run to the edge of the warehouse, and launch yourself towards the roof of the building opposite.

Pick a number from the
Random Number Table
. If you possess Grand Huntmastery
and
have reached the rank of Kai Grand Guardian or higher, add 3 to the number you have picked.

If your total score is now 3 or less,
turn to 154
.

If it is 4–7,
turn to 310
.

If it is 8 or higher,
turn to 70
.

43

The Elder's probe breaks through your mind shield and he suddenly realizes that you are an intruder. He pulls at your robe and tears it open, revealing your leather tunic and breeches. Recognizing them at once to be Sommlending in origin, he gasps with shock as he guesses at your true identity.

‘Seize him!’ he bellows, and a score of acolytes turn around and run forward to obey the command. You draw your weapon and fight them with breathtaking skill and valour, but eventually you are overcome by their numbers. By the time they have disarmed you and pinned you to the rocky ground, more than thirty of them lie slain or seriously injured in a heaped circle around where you lie.

You stare back defiantly at the ring of grim torchlit faces that loom over you. Then the face of the Elder comes into view and he sneers with disdain. He places the tip of a glowing wand to your forehead and suddenly there is an explosion of white light. Sadly for you, it is the last sensation you will ever experience.

Your life and your quest end here, on the trail to the Maakengorge.

44

You are standing inside a mountain of ice. A dim, blue vista stretches away in every direction, and here the light appears bent and fractured by the myriad frozen facets of the water. You are encased yet you can still move; you are able to stride forwards through the seemingly solid walls as if you are moving through air.

Confidently you walk through the strange and terrible beauty of this crystal world, striding on towards the distant dim, twinkling light that first drew you to the mountains. Slowly the icy vastness begins to change and you see new wonders. There are treasures — veins of gold, raw gemstones, chests of coins, pearls, and rubies. And there are graves and lost tombs, where corpses watch your passing with burning eyes. Their ghastly stares bleed the warmth from your body and leave you shivering with psychic shock: lose 4
ENDURANCE
points.

At length you pass beyond the ice and emerge into the shadowy recesses of a vast cavern. Here you discover the source of the light, and in its dim glow, you witness a scene that makes you tremble with fear.

Turn to 327
.

45

Gwynian opens his envelope and removes a time-yellowed parchment which he spreads upon the smooth stone table: it is a map of northern Magador. He points to Lake Vorndarol and tells you that the eye of the strange storms which have swept this region has been calculated to be within a few miles of the lake's eastern shore, close to the Maakengorge. The hamlet of Vorn, or what is left of it, is located on the southern shore, near to a tributary of the River Storn. He counsels you to be on your guard at all times and, to help you succeed, he gives you an amulet of his own.

‘Wear this, Grand Master,’ he says as he places the corded platinum disc around your neck. ‘It will keep you safe from some of the perils that may await you at the Maakengorge.’

(Record this Platinum Amulet, which you wear on a cord around your neck, as a Special Item on your
Action Chart
. You need not discard another item in its favour if you are already carrying the maximum number permissible.)

Turn to 297
.

46

You have destroyed the power of the Vortexi horde. They shrink and fade, and their faint, wispy remains are whipped up and dispersed by the winds of the raging storm. For a few moments there is a break in the roiling clouds and a few rays of sunlight burst through to bathe you in a warm, yellow glow. This warmth greatly invigorates your body and your mind: restore your
ENDURANCE
points score to its original level.

To continue,
turn to 29
.

47

In the far corner of this hovel are a man and a woman. They are huddled close together, wide-eyed and shivering with fear. Their once-fine clothes are tattered and caked with mud, and in their midst you see that they are cradling an infant who is clearly sick with fever. You lower your weapon and offer them an assurance that you mean them no harm but, even though you can tell that they understand your words, they still look at you with terror in their eyes.

If you possess some food and wish to offer it to them,
turn to 122
.

If you do not have any food,
turn to 217
.

48

The creature roars with pain as your Arrow clips its shoulder. Unfortunately, it is just a flesh wound and it does not stop the beast from advancing. You shoulder your Bow and draw your weapon, bringing your horse about with your knees as you get ready to face the beast. But the instant he sees the creature, he panics and rears up on his hind legs, neighing with fright, his hooves scrabbling frantically at the air. You bring him under control using your innate Kai skills, but in doing so your attention is diverted momentarily from the attacking beast as it moves in and swipes at you with its clawed paw.

Illustration III
—The creature roars with pain as your Arrow clips its shoulder.

Black Corvayl:
COMBAT SKILL
 44   
ENDURANCE
 52

Reduce your
COMBAT SKILL
by 10 for the first round of this fight only.

If you win the combat,
turn to 210
.

BOOK: The Legacy of Vashna
9.84Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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