Read The Legacy of Vashna Online

Authors: Joe Dever

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

The Legacy of Vashna (9 page)

BOOK: The Legacy of Vashna
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63

You look towards the dais and see a staff of twisted black metal. Its six-foot length looks insignificant lying beside the huge, booted foot of the Demoness.

‘The time has nearly come for the transference,’ says the young woman. ‘Shamath must be stopped, and only you can stop her.’

‘But how?’ you reply, bemused.

‘Simple! You must steal the Deathstaff and enter the Shadow Gate before her. Use the staff to destroy Cadak's crystal dais — this will close the gate and prevent the Demoness from entering Magnamund. But I warn you, Lone Wolf. You will have precious little time to accomplish this, so do not delay once you return to your world. You must destroy Cadak's dais as quickly as possible or Shamath will get through. She has great strength and power here, but on Magnamund her powers would make her invincible.’

The young woman looks over her shoulder, as if she is being pursued by some invisible hunter. ‘I wish I could help you more, Lone Wolf,’ she says, anxiously, ‘but I have my own battle to fight. Be brave, Grand Master, but most of all — be swift!’

And with these words she begins to fade before your eyes. The moment she vanishes completely, the cavern echoes to a deafening roar. It is the angry cry of Shamath. She has seen you!

Turn to 50
.

64

You strike camp and set off shortly after dawn. Come mid-morning, you arrive at a high pass from where you see Lake Vorndarol for the first time. You call on your Magnakai skill of Huntmastery to intensify your vision and, as your view of the lake grows sharper and clearer, you make out the ruins of Vorn on the southern shore. The hamlet is blackened and desolate, but it is not without signs of life. There are men moving around in the streets, and a square-rigged boat is moored at the quay.

Bayan is anxious for his family's safety and keen to return to them now that he has guided you to within sight of Vorn. You thank him for his help and offer him some money which he gratefully accepts. Pick a number from the
Random Number Table
(0=10). The number you have chosen is equal to the number of Gold Crowns you give to Bayan. If you have insufficient money, you must give him all the Gold Crowns you have, plus an item from your Backpack.

To continue,
turn to 8
.

65

The howling phantoms come swirling out of the storm. They encircle the great shimmering arch in a long, unbroken chain, and then, one by one, they peel away to dive at the place where you are standing.

Your Kai instincts inform you that the Deathstaff possesses the power to repel these psychic phantoms, if you have the courage to use it. You also sense that there will inevitably be a price to pay if you use a weapon forged by the King of all Darkness.

If you wish to use the Deathstaff,
turn to 263
.

If you decide not to use this weapon,
turn to 83
.

66

You awake shortly after dawn to the smell of freshly-brewed jala. Fyrad has already risen and is busy preparing breakfast. He hands you a steaming mug and you look out over the damp hillside, contemplating the quest whilst sipping this delicious beverage.

After breakfast, Fyrad tells you of a pass which leads directly to the east shore; then he gathers his equipment and furs and loads them onto his mule. He is tired of dodging brigands and storms and has decided to strike camp and abandon his hunt in the mountains. You bid each other good luck before saying your final farewells. On leaving the cave, you turn to the east and Fyrad to the south.

The hunter's directions are accurate and useful. You find the pass and by noon you have reached a chalky plateau on the far side, 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
.

67

The muddy track climbs to the peak of a ridge and then makes a twisting descent to a copse of sickly-looking trees clustered at the base of a gully. You have noticed that the night wind has gradually been getting warmer and, as you reach the copse, a few drops of rain begin to spatter the shoulders of your cloak. Within minutes this gentle shower is transformed into a torrential downpour. Suddenly, thunder booms overhead and forks of white lightning streak down to explode among the surrounding trees, setting them on fire. Fearful of the danger, you peer through the wall of rain in search of safer shelter.

Aided by your Kai senses, you detect two possible refuges from the storm: an overhanging ledge of rock, and the entrance to an old mine shaft.

If you wish to take shelter under the ledge,
turn to 209
.

If you decide to seek shelter in the old mine shaft
turn to 128
.

68

The unexpected sight of your dead brother's face leaves you dry-mouthed and shaking, but fortunately your Kai Mastery of psychic defence protects your mind from the full effects of this psychic shock: lose 2
ENDURANCE
points.

Turn to 195
.

69

Instinctively, you dodge your head to one side to avoid being hit in the face by this deadly missile.

Pick a number from the
Random Number Table
. If you possess Grand Huntmastery, add 2 to the number you have picked.

If your total score is now 3 or less,
turn to 271
.

If it is 4 or more,
turn to 165
.

70

You make the jump look effortless as you glide through the air and make a perfect landing on the opposite roof. For a moment the black-clad archer halts beside a tall chimney stack and turns around to look at you. He is clearly worried by how efficiently you are pursuing him. Then, three other shadowy figures emerge from behind the stack and stand at his shoulder. Silently they stare at you for a few moments before one of their number raises his hand and hurls a glassy sphere in your direction.

The sphere shatters at your feet and, in an instant, your legs are engulfed by a writhing mass of magical vines. By the time you have freed yourself, you discover that the assassin and his confederates are nowhere to be seen. Cautiously, you approach the chimney stack where you find, lying at its base, a palm-sized coin of black metal engraved with runes. You pick up this disc and slip it into the pocket of your tunic. (Record this Runic Disc on your
Action Chart
as a Special Item. You must discard an item in its favour if you already carry the maximum number permissible.)

Having lost sight of the four shadowy figures, you decide now to call off the chase. Wearily you make your way down from the roof and retrace your steps back to the stables of the Crooked Sage in order to collect your horse.

Turn to 341
.

71

Hurriedly, you recite the words that trigger the Brotherhood Spell
Counterspell
. To your sudden horror you discover that the spell is ineffective against this energy bolt and, with a blinding eruption of white light, it explodes among the charred timbers. The blast and concussion send you reeling backwards to slam against a soot-blackened wall: lose 12
ENDURANCE
points.

If you are still alive,
turn to 200
.

72

The umbrella of light quickly fades to leave you standing in a torrential rain-storm, close to the base of the crystal dais. Through the downpour, you can see that the acolytes are slowly returning. They are anxious for the safety of their leader and hungry for the successful summoning of their banished lord.

Despite the chill, you tighten your grip on the icy cold Deathstaff and climb the tiers to the top of the dais. You sense that the crystal dais commands the opening and closing of the Shadow Gate, and you know you must try to close the gate before Shamath appears. In frustration, you raise the Deathstaff and bring it crashing down upon the floor of the upper tier, but it does little damage. It could take forever to destroy the dais this way.

Then a wave of electrical energy crackles around the rim of the great arch and your blood runs cold, for you know that in a dim and distant cavern upon the Plane of Darkness, the Demoness Shamath has just stepped into a Shadow Gate. Her journey to Magnamund has begun!

Turn to 164
.

73

You dig your heels into Bracer's flanks to make him gallop along the track, away from the rocky ledge and the onrushing wall of water which threatens to drown you both. Unfortunately, you have covered no further than a few dozen yards when you are caught and overrun by the raging flood.

For countless minutes you hurtle along the gully, propelled by the torrential flood waters. Your terrifying experience comes to an end when you are deposited on a tiny island of rock in the centre of the raging flow. A few minutes later you catch sight of Bracer; he is standing on a ridge of high ground near the edge of the gully. He is clearly frightened but he looks to be physically unharmed by his ordeal. You spend a long and miserable night on this rock, waiting for the flood waters to subside. Due to injuries sustained in the flood, you lose 5
ENDURANCE
points.

Turn to 12
.

74

You draw on your Magnakai Discipline of Psi-screen to keep safe your identity from the Elder's mind probe. You sense that his psychic power is strong, and you fear that your defences may not be sufficient to repel him.

Pick a number from the
Random Number Table
. If you possess Assimilance, add 3 to the number you have picked. Also, if you possess Grand Nexus, add 3; and if you possess Kai-alchemy, add 2.

If your total score is now 9 or less,
turn to 43
.

If it is 10 or more,
turn to 258
.

75

You hold the brigand in a vice-tight armlock and demand to know who sent him here to ambush you.

‘No one sent me,’ he pleads, ‘no one … no one at all. I was plannin' on robbin' me a few acolytes, that's all. Some of 'em has gold and trinkets that's worth cash in Vakovar. This trail's been good to me. It's netted me some rich pickin's in the past month or so. We weren't after you in partic'lar … No, you jus' happened to come ridin' past, that's all.’

Your Kai senses inform you that he is speaking the truth. He and his band of robbers have been waylaying Acolytes of Vashna who have travelled this route over the past few weeks. Without slackening your grip, you ask him what he knows about them.

‘They been preparin' something, over on the … ’ he says, but he ceases to speak the moment he sees a group of his men emerge from the surrounding pines.

‘You're in for it now,’ he hisses. ‘My men are goin' to do for you good an' proper.’

Another six of the captain's men step from out of the trees and begin to move towards you, their swords held ready to strike. Rather than stay and fight them, you shove the captain away and take to your heels, pausing only to snatch up his satchel as you make your escape.

Screaming curses and promising you a slow death, the captain scrambles to his feet and leads his men in a chase, but you are soon lost among the dense pines and, reluctantly, he orders his henchmen to give up the pursuit.

Turn to 247
.

76

You don a red robe, taken from one of the dead acolytes, and raise its black hood to keep your face hidden. The folds of this voluminous garment cover your weapons as well as your clothing, and a haversack taken from another acolyte battle-corpse is large enough to conceal your Backpack. Confident that you can pass for one of them, you run to the quayside and join with those acolytes who are now climbing aboard the longboat.

When your turn comes, you leap from the quay onto the deck of the ship. You land very close to the sandalled feet of one of the three Acolyte Elders and he glares at you angrily, though he does not see through your disguise. You take your place on a bench alongside the others and use your Kai camouflage skills to avoid their attention. You notice that a bank of oars stands upright in the gunwales of the boat, and it strikes you as odd that no order has been given to man them. When the last of the acolytes are safely aboard, you discover why.

Turn to 93
.

77

You leave the furriers' shop and remount your horse to continue your search for the Crooked Sage Inn. You have ridden less than twenty yards when a sudden gust of wind thins out the cloying fog, revealing the dark entrance to an alleyway off to your right.

If you wish to explore this alley,
turn to 33
.

If you decide to ignore it and continue on your way along this street,
turn to 147
.

BOOK: The Legacy of Vashna
2.12Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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