Let's play Grey Star, your average teen wizard Jan 8, 2023 23:22:02 GMT
Post by galantor on Jan 8, 2023 23:22:02 GMT
So, I am Grey Star, the Wizard trained by the Shianti since they found me on the beach of this crummy island. However, today, I get my chance to escape that old Acarya’s grip. I am summoned to the newly-rebuilt temple of Amida, probably to endure yet another suspension. To my surprise, I am sent on a quest « to recover the Moonstone and use its power to destroy the Wytch-king », Acarya said.
Its a ticket to freedom and adventure. I am in. Also, usually, I am grounded whenever I destroy things, and now, I am tasked to destroy that Wytch-king. I remember Acarya’s face when I commanded an Earth elemental to shake the foundation of the last temple of Amida to create a fun dancefloor… That old one nearly got a stroke.
So, of course I accept the quest. Plus, if Shasarak rules the evil empire of Shadaki, and I off him, I suppose I get to rule the evil empire of Shadaki ever after. That’s nice. Let’s get on the boat.
My stats are above average : CS 19, EP 23, WP 29. OK, I am a little weak but you never get to exercice much on the Isle of Lorn, staying in a library all day. I am determined, though, and being a teenager I have had ample training wielding my staff.I barely remember the daft one’s advice. I am to seek the lost tribe of Lara so they can locate a Shadow Gate leading to Daziarn, where I can get an ICBM to nuke Shasarak. Or something. Attention wasn’t really my strong skill. I master five of the lesser magick. Hey, one can’t really achieve O-level in all subjects at once, don’t blame me. They decided to give me this quest before the September session, after all. Wisemen, really. I however master the arts of Sorcery (useful to grab a can of Coke without leaving my chair… did I tell you there is really no opportunity to exercise on Lorn ?), Enchantment (I worked hard on this one… before being told that, no, there are no human girls on the Isle of Lorn and if I had listened to history lessons I wouldn’t ask this question), Elementalism (when it snows, school session is suspended in Lorn… For some reason, the tropical island was often struck by unexpected blast of cold air, I blame climate change), Alchemy (or Weedmaking, as I call it) and Evocation.
Before boarding and bidding farewell, I have made my pack, with 4 meals, a map, my weedmaking tools, and since it is the most important task the Shianti undertook in centuries, one they can’t afford to fail and of strategic consequences, they decided to outfit me with the best equipment available on the Isle of Lorn. However, due to a conflict in the Shianti senate, the Procurement Department was on governmental shutdown and I could only take one of three items : a dagger, a talisman or a crummy standard laumspur potion. I mean, I know that I’ll brew 10 EP potions at some point in the far future, a lowly human alchemist called Rendalim can brew 6 EP potion, but no, the Shianti only give me a potion I could prepare with a clump of Laumspur weed. Seesh. I choose the +1 dagger, even if I don’t know how to use it, just to spite them. At least it looks costly with all those jewels.
Off we go. Section 1, I decide to use Elementalism to hasten my trip. I am no mariner, and I don’t like to spend time doing chore. CS 19, EP 23, WP 28. I consider landing by nightfall, but if it was the goal, I wouldn’t have ordered the Gale Wraith to carry me faster and nearly lost the whole content of a Meal belching overboard… I am landing this ship NOW.
In the port, the crowd is rightly amazed of my arrival. People are already recognizing me as their rightful Lord and Ruler. That’s nice, I expected conquering the Shadakine Empire to be more complicated. Due to the commotion on the street, two law enforcement officers arrive to enquire about it and maintain the peace. Since the crowd asks for a display of power, I decide to shoot my staff at them, killing the patrol (CS 19, EP 23, WP 25). An insight – despite my total lack of Prophetic power, I never trusted the Shianti Trelawney – tells me I will end this adventure without any WP, so let’s be liberal with it and show the street rabble the true power of my magicks. Also, I fight the remaining guard. He’s lacking pupils, after all, and as such he reminds me of the Shianti professor of Phys. Ed. They all lacked pupils on this island. After a cathartic fight, at CR +6, I spend 3 WP, the same amount used to kill the first one outright, and roll a 4. That’s insta-death for the Shadakine, and a slight wound for me. Ouch. It HURTS. (CS 19, EP 21, WP 22).
Since the whole port of Suhn is now in upheaval due to the revolution starting on the dock, the military is getting involved. While I applaud my subjects for recognizing their rightful king at once, they must remember that disobeying the Law won’t be an option under a Shianti-trained ruler. I let them deal with the war chariots, in order to teach them a lesson in obedience. The few survivor will certainly help disseminate the legend of my coming. In the narrow street I go.
Everything looks the same here. Lacking Prophetic power, I decide to turn in the left alleyway. The odour become even more unbearable. Rats are everywhere. I am certainly on the right track to find the crummy tribe of Lara. From what I understand, they are apemen, they must not smell of roses. Let’s go ahead.
A local ambushes me, I decide to hand over my money pouch. It’s not like I have money anyway. He does seem nonplussed and want to kill me. Despite, you know, the fight being at CR +9. Since he’s alone in a dark alleyway, I’ll fight to the death. That’s a 9. Well, my legend will tell that I would have spared him and told him the errors of his ways and he became of priest of Grey Star afterwards. Right now, he has been disintegrated by my trusty Staff, without even expending more that 1 WP. (CS 19, EP 21, WP 21).
I loot the body, in true adventurer fashion, and I find my empty pouch and 10 nobles. I find legitimate to keep the money. After all, I was given NO allowance or pocket money on Lorn. And those crummy Shianti said it was because they don’t have a monetary system nor a market to allocate goods in the most optimal way to satisfy both demande and supply. Frankly, have there ever been a lousier explanation to refuse giving a teenager pocket money ? I’ll sue them under Shadakine law after I wrestle power from Shasarak. I am now 10 nobles richer, the richest I ever was. I also keep the Dagger. Let’s get drunk, now that I have money.
I enter the Inn of the Laughing Moon. On my way to the counter, I spot Aragorn skulking in the corner of the inn. I have read too many books in that Lorn Library, I must go and bother him. Too bad, the man in the shadow is much less interesting. He’s a religious nutjob. He hands me a vial of Pink Liquid (no thanks, I only drink purchased drinks opened before me in seedy bars) and his medallion.
The Shadaking guards interrupt, preventing me for spending my hard-earned Jade to get, at last, some booze. It would be shameful to be carded in this inn. I leave the tavern with discretion, and on the street I see the stall of Madam Tarlas. Nice, I really wanted to meet a Madam. Did I mention there was no human girl on Lorn ? I have more Hormone points than Willpower points. Let's look at the illustration on the game section 183.
Ok, I hope she is just handling the selling business and not the actual job. Let’s see what she has to offer...
Strong disappointment. She’s an alchemist, in fact. Not to lose face, I buy Alether, Laumspur and 2 tarama seeds for 10 nobles. I regret not being able to trade my mortar and pestle for her last tarama. As I leave the stall, the Shadakine have left the inn. I am followed by an informant (apparently, someone has noticed my arrival in the town…) and three LEOs are asking me to halt. Since I have no reason to disobey at this point and noone trying to incite me into killing people that will end up guarding my good city of Suhn, I follow him to the local prison.
They take my backpack and my Staff. I try the « Ho… you would not part an old man from his walking stick » routine but since I am 16 years old, it doesn’t work. Surprisingly, they leave my special items, including a medallion probably linked to an anti-Shasarak sect and my jewelled dagger. Security is lax, they are shirking duty. I make a mental note they won’t be good guards in my new regime and to terminate them at the nearest opportunity.
I am taken to the citadel for interrogation. I meet the second girl of my life, an old crone called Mother Magri. She’s even worse to look at than Madam Tarlas. I am starting to become desperate.
She’s trying to use a magical device called a « Kazim stone » to read my mind. She could have asked questions, I’d have told her that I am on a quest to destroy her employers but that I was ready to discuss job opportunities for her in the new regime.
My WP being above 15, she sense that I am powerful. I choose to resist with sheer willpower, if only to show her how magick is done. My WP+CS total is 40 at this point, so I easily snuff the light out of the Kazim stone. Say goodbye to your amusing tool, Wytch, I say with a smirk. (CS 19, EP 17, WP 17). I am sent in a jail, because she isn’t amused.
Worse, it isn’t even an individual cell. I protest ! I am deserving a more dignified cell, not to be sent with the common rabble. I must endure the conversation of a merchant in my jail. I don’t care to listen to his droning conversation. I must escape or my ears will fall off. I should have listened more because now, I seem to remember he was talking about the Lost Tribe of Lara. Too bad. I consider tearing my own ears but I am no Lone Wolf, I can’t guarantee they’ll grow again through some Grand Disipline of Uber-Curing.
Suddenly, a girl brings us some food. A GIRL. THIS IS THE FIRST ONE. And she’s cute to boot. The cutest I have seen. Which doesn’t amount to a lot, to be honest. But she looks nicer than Magri.I bring some Laumspur to the old man – glad that they let me my Alchemy pouch with a vial of it instead of keeping for healing the guards. He’s after all, a priest of the Shianti. This is the closest to the religion of me I am intend on creating, so he deserves some encouragement.
I get 10 WP for a dream sent by the Shianti from Lorn. I tell them of my achievements so far and tell them to leave my dream because I was trying to dream of marrying the Shadakine gaolergirl. I don’t know why they seemed so dismayed (CS 19, EP 17, WP 27).
The priest died during the night, just before telling some insightful information he got from his dream. That was soooo predictable I don’t even care. On the other hand, he’ll soon start to rot so I mention it to goalergirl. Since she’s receptive to my pickup line « the priest is dead », I chat her up and I boast about defeating Magri. She challenges me to beat the Darkling Room. Challenge accepted ! Also, I broke the Kazim Stone, I could very well break their room. They’ll remember my visit in the Hall of Correction !
Tanith is apparently a Wytch apprentice. She gives me a bowl of rice improved with some herbs. Of course, this goddess-made-girl can’t be wrong, because she has boobies. I eat (CS 19, EP 20, WP 28).
I should probably work on a plan, but I prefer to go to sleep and try to resume my Shianti-interrupted dream. (CS 19, EP 21, WP 29).
Since the dead priest had something to say before dying, let’s interrogate him. Évocation will ensure my escape. I agree to pay his price for information, which is to release the dead. Coool. I always dreamt of raising an undead army at my beck and call. It is, I am reminded, against Shianti law. But they abandonned jurisdiction when they fled to Lorn, so here, I am pretty sure I am not breaking any law by letting the dead roam. It’s so cool to do that, that I don’t even listen to the advice he gave me about the path to follow, besides understanding he’ll solve my problem with the door. (CS 19, EP 21, WP 27). I loot the priest body when leaving, taking his medallion. I also loot the gaoler just outside my cell, because no corpse should be left unlooted. I free the other prisonners, so they can leave their cell and get into the corridor where my undead army are killing everyone. I mean, they are probably common law prisonners and I noticed that prisonners cost a lot a being fed bowls of rice several times a day. I must be cognizant of the financial state of my evil Shadakine Empire.
I quickly reach a myriad of corridors, all looking alike. I guess I should have listened to the ramblings of my priest, but he probably didn't mention the way to the Darkling Room. I decide to take the narrow passageway at the end of the corridor I am in. I end up in a pungent cavern, yes, that’s the Darkling room. Tanith, you’ll see that I am as strong as I am handsome, by beating Magri’s second tool. It’s a mental fight… the guy I was in the cell with, who followed me, lay unconscious already besides me. I don’t really remember his name but apparently he decided to travel with me.
It’s a mental fight, so I am asked to add my WP and endurance points to use as my CS. That’s CS 48. Lone Wolf, take that. In book 1 I can reach an unarmed CS you’ll have DECADES of training to reach. Also, you’d probably die in the darking room. Oh, maybe you could add 1 with your Psi-screen, if you have that discipline. Well, enough daydreaming, there is a darklling spirit currently gnawing at my soul right now. With a +20 combat ratio, I must say I barely noticed him. Even without the ability to spend WP to multiply damage, I feel confident in the outcome of the fight. Too much. I roll a 1 before rolling an 8 and insta-killing the Darkling Room. I won’t tell Tanith about that first round, though. CS 19, EP 19, WP 27).
I quickly leave, taking the trader with me for reasons I really can’t fathom right now. It was probably against littering laws to leave him in the dead darkling room. I quickly am reunited with Tanith, who can’t resist my natural Bond-esque handsomeness. She has brought my gear. There is absolutely no reason not to trust her. I notice she also got her hands on the Kazim Stone, smart girl. I’ll marry her someday.
As we leave, I can’t resist displaying more of my power by making my undead army destroy the Hall of Correction. Unfortunately, Mother Magri was working from home this day, so she escaped the destruction, as I will learn later. Tanith is suitably impressed. I waste another WP to one-up Gandalf and make the Bruinen crossing looks lame in comparison to my watery fist, for no other reason to secure the approval of Tanith (CS 19, EP 18, WP 26).
I provide meals for my team. We decide to spend the night… I have no blanket nor fire but I am pretty sure there is a way to keep warmth by cuddling together. Yes, you, go mount guard on the other side of the wood (CS 19, EP 19, WP 27) meanwhile. I decide to go with Tanith’s plan to meet Jnana the Wise. To do this, I must fail to turn my head on the side after drinking the pink vial of Calacena extract. Unfortunately, the vial wasn’t eco-friendly and I must discard it instead of keeping an empty vial in my pouch. Drat.
We continue in the Chansi Hills (CS 19, EP 23, WP 29) while I gather Laumspur on the way. Meeting the Crebain from Dunland Najin, I decide to follow them at my wife-to-be’s suggestion while ignoring the peddlar. I really should ask him his name at the first opportunity.
We meet a nice guy called Jnana. He gives me a Silver Charm, 5 meals, a Broadsword, 2 vials of Laumspur and a Coil of Rope. I am reminded that my backpack can only hold 8 items, so I choose the charm, 4 meals, the potions and the broadsword. It is of no use to me, but I kinda like carrying weapons with me. In return, since I believe in fair trade and exchange, I offer him the Gaoler’s key. I hope that as an hermit, he will find adequate value in a set of key opening destroyed doors in the collapsed Hall of correction from a city several day’s away.
Noticing I am an Alchemist, he decides to give another round of gifts ! I pour the ointment of Jabari on me and plunder his stock of Tarama seeds.
We resume our trip. I don’t know which way, because I was more interested in locating his stash of tarama than listening to him, but I am pretty sure the guy I met in the cell took notes. Since nothing happens, I can restore my EP (too bad I was at top level, this book is really easy), and more importantly my WP by one-half (CS 19, EP 23, WP 44). I chose to round up, because there is no reason not to. Also, I have no compunction against using the Tarama seed to multiply damage by up to 9,000. But I won’t, because Tarama seeds are to awesome to use. I am pretty sure the old story about the valley of Taktalot being destroyed by fire in an instand was just the result of a wizard blast combined with a single tarama seed…
Anyway… we meet some Shadakine attacking Durenese soldiers. Frankly, they are far from home. I see no reason to interfere with the local law enforcement…but I notice a heavily laden wagon of marchandise. I expect a good reward from those soldiers. Also, it’s telegraphed they are good guys, because Durenese are allied with Sommerlund, and I’ve read too many Kai stories to ignore them. So, contrary to common sense, I decide to join the fray. I use Enchantment to make them fight each other while I cackle evilly. Tanith is suitably impressed. I decide to push my advantage with her by charging manly into the fray, going directly to the Shadakine officer. Who apparently dies from a stroke when seeing my awesomeness. (CS 19, EP 23, WP 41).
Since I am still unharmed, I store a vial of Rendalim’s Elixir, I dutifully loot his tarama storage, for a total of NINE, and I don’t think I’ll have use of Calacena. Since I am a firm believer in exchange of gift, I give him back a medallion of the Shianti priest, telling Randalim to show this to any Shadakine guard in Suhn, along with the password "Remember the Hall of Correction!" to ensure safe passage for his travelling party.
We make our way to the Azan River eating two meals. I should have eaten more at Rendalim’s yesterday. Apparently one night, Tanith was playing with her Kazim Stone and got in touch with Magri. She should have left the stone at home. Using some mind control over her former apprentice, Magri located her to find me. I could decide to raise a sorcery shield, but I have ample healing potions and last time we met Magri’s tools, she was walloped uttlerly. So, I may want to deal with the Kleasa mano-a-mano. However, as I amply read gamebooks in the Lorn Library, I have the uncanny insight that this is the worse fight in the whole series. So, I’ll blatantly sheet and use out of character caution to erect a shield of Sorcery. (CS 19, EP 23, WP 42)
It would be a perfect occasion to spend a Tarama speed to level the place Hiroshima-style, but I feel the seeds are too valuable to waste (also, I intend on planting them in my Imperial Herboristery in Shadaki to have an endless supply of those in the future). The CR is -6, which is bad. I should really drink alether, but it’s too awesome to use (also, I keep it if I must off Lone Wolf sometime in the future, we never know, the series is named after him, as « world of lone wolf », not me, and that’s enough to worry me). Also, I will lose 1 EP each round and 1 WP each round. So be it. I roll my d10 (diceroller is such a smart website)… 8, 7, 1, 6. The Klaesa is half-dead, but after 4 rounds, I have lost 4 EP to the unrelenting mental attacks, and 2, 3, 6 and 4 EP during the fight. OUCH. That’s a total of 19 EP. I am left with (CS 19, EP 4, WP 34). I wisely decide to seep a shot of Rendalim’s and my two vials of Laumspur and to munch on my clump of Laumspur (+6+2x4+3) to reach EP 21 again. DRAT. My legend won’t say I withstood the asssault of the Kleasa unharmed. I will mention a slight feeling of exhaustion. Take that Lone Wolf (who hasn’t met the Soul Eater yet, but hey).
The Klaesa suddenly increase in size and power (CS 19, EP 16, WP 29) when Tanith decide to sacrifice herself for me. THAT’S NOT WHAT I ASKED FOR, GIRL !!! Why didn’t you throw the barter-guy in the flame ? I don’t even know his name !!
Well, it’s done, and sadly I resume my journey, barely noticing the presence of the annoying cook (last time I checked, he was taking care of the meals) with me. I am so sad I forget to loot Tanith’s backpack, which is probably full of gifts from Jnana and Randalim (CS 19, EP 16, WP 28).
We spend the next night in a shack, where we wait quietly for a storm to pass by us (CS 19, EP 18, WP 29) while eating a Meal.Noticing Jaku plants, we leave the border of the Azan river to head toward the Dragon’s Teeth. I decide to turn left toward the Shenwu Falls. Unfortunately, I am ambushed by Quokus. I try to go stealthily past them, but I have no Camouflage discipline (I guess the Shianti had planned to teach me that after the success of my quest ?) so I am attacked by a diving Quoku. During the fight, I notice the presence of that travelling merchant fighting at my side. I have met him already, but I can’t be arsed to remember who he is. He is no Tanith and that’s all that matters. I must substract 2 from my CS because he’s apparently not very good at fighting and his helps amount to nothing. That’s still a +5 CR fight against the Quoku. I choose to spend three WP to make it quick… and I roll a… 2. (CS 19, EP 15, WP 26). Even after losing 21 EP, the Quoku still stands. This time, I elect to spend 2 WP, I roll a 4, ending his life but taking another wound (CS 19, EP EP 12, WP 23). That last WP was wasted as he would have died anyway, but I wanted to ensure a 9+ result.
Since there are other Quoku around, and I have no healing left, I decide to run, firing my staff haphazardly (CS 19, EP 12, WP 21), notice that the merchant is about to become Quoku-food so I shout a warning, considering that I don’t know him that well and it’s not worth risking fighting at his side. I make the Leap of Death trying to cross a ravine. As my WP is high and I have Jnana’s Talisman of Luck, I roll 7+2+1 = 10 ! My Olympic level of jumping gets me across at the cost of 2 EP (CS 19, EP 10, WP 21). My strained ankle won’t be mentionned in my legend, I say while limping toward the Wall of Azakawa.
Remembering the merchant, I glance back. He’s afraid of jumping. I offer him to throw his backpack to me first, so no riches will be lost in case he doesn’t make it, quoting the famous Shianti proverb « Material riches are a burden that increase your load, and we are here to show you the way to get rid of them ». He thankfully accept my offer. I turn back to continue my way, and I hear in the distance the sound of a eating Quoku. « Failure befall on those who hesitate », I add, quoting Shianti wisdom twice in row.
I drink the merchant’s Laumspur and top off my Meals (CS 19, EP 12, WP 21). I decide to go toward the cliff, since I am trying to get on top the gorge. My head is fuzzy. I lose another EP while walking toward a crack in the cliff. I am sleepy. This isn’t suspicious at all. I enter the tunnel and light my way with my Staff (CS 19, EP 10, WP 19). I take a meal and sleep in the comfort of a cave. (CS 19, EP 14, WP 22). I ate the merchant’s meal. He had a strange taste in food, but I thank his soul for his gift. Too bad I never had the opportunity to ask his name. Perhaps I should use Évocation to summon his soul to know it ?
Well, I must keep my WP, so I decide against it.
I resume moving, take the next left path, burn a Mantiz soldier to death with 2 WP (I have nothing against them, but I dislike insects, so I squash them whenever I can). I wonder what it was doing inside the cave. I resume going upward since I am trying to CLIMB toward the top of the gorge. I go east, taking the first path as I often do, and I am led to fight another Mantiz (CS 19, EP 12, WP 20) that gnaws at my ankle. Bad, bad ankle.
At last I am seeling the light of the Sun. Blessed be Kai, the god of the Sun (I am pretty sure I’ve read about him in the Shianti library). Behind me, there is an entrance to a cave from which the Mantiz might emerge. I preemtively fire at them (CS 19, EP 12, WP 18). They don’t like it and since there are now HUNDREDS of Mantiz warriors after me, I decide to bravely make a run. A fearsome Cave Mantiz springs before me, he’d be an easy target but, inspired by my uncanny knowledge of the traps in this book, I know better than to spend 5 WP make sure I win quickly. I evade, taking, with a diceroll of 2, 3 EP. (CS 19, EP 9, WP 18). I reach the Kundi border and I must clear my way by spending my last WP into a nuclear-like devastation of the Mantiz army. It would be one of the best moment to elect to consume a Tarama seed and save 18 WP, but no, I feel it would be cheating (and also, it would probably break the character creation in the next book).
Ending score : CS 19, EP 12, WP 0). I’ll have to continue my quest in the next book, dealing with those strange Apemen of Lara. I am pretty sure Acarya mentionned them at some point, am I supposed to ask them something ?
HERE ENDS THE FIRST CHAPTER OF THE LEGEND OF GREY STAR, CHAMPION OF LIGHT, HERO OF SOUTHERN MAGNAMUND, FUTURE RULER OF THE SHADAKINE EMPIRE.
Innocent casualties :
1. Two Shadakine LEOs on the docks.
2. A throng of Suhnese supporter of my short-lived dock-side revolution.
3. A thief I could have frightened with my Staff.
4. The whole population of the Hall of Corrections, from prisonners to kitchen staff, incluing the garrison except Magri.
5. The LEOs that died drowned pursuing me for my petty crimes in Suhn.
6. 20 Shadakine Border Force members who stopped the Durenese convoy in good faith.
7. Madim Rendalim and six guards, if they followed my advice. [There is a reason LW never meet him in Durenor...]
(Well, I have a naggling feeling I forgot someone on this list, traveling with me, but I can't really pinpoint anyone.
Intelligent people I've talked to and yet survived:
1. The Shadakine informant in the marketplace.
2. The priest in the Laughing Moon Inn.
3. Madam Tarlas.
4. Jnana the Wise (I considered pissing him off by using the Najin as target practice, but the loot opportunity is too good and it would make Tanith frown. I want her to smile all the time, like when I unleashed that undead army.
All in all, that's not a great result.
Backpack : 4 meals, Pestle and Mortar, Dagger, Broadsword
Money : 0 noble.
Special Items : jewelled dagger +1, Dagger, Medallion, 9 tarama seeds, Silver Charm.
Herb pouch : 5 vials, 1 vial salpeter, 1 vial sulphur, 1 vial alether.
Weapons : Dagger, Wizard Staff