Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Sorcery #1 - The Shamutanti Hills, part one

Hello again! I know it's been a while, but I had excuses twofold, remember - firstly, I was out of books in the original series (yeah there's a few I haven't done, but I at least exhausted the ones I actually own), and was due to have a baby.

On that note, little Parker was born five days after my last post, so I picked the right week to take a hiatus, huh? He's doing well, almost 12 weeks old now, and yeah. I began his education into all things FF-esque this morning, with his first viewing of Bowie's Dance Magic Dance, from the Labyrinth of course, so yeah.

Anyway, onto part one of part one of the Sorcery! series, The Shamutanti Hills. These books are longer than the usual, so I'll do an hour or so an entry, and we'll see how we go.

Right! To it.

The basic plot here is the local kings take four-year turns holding onto the appropriately named Crown of Kings (not to be confused with the Crown of Love) which magically makes their societies awesome and free of crime, poverty, disorder, gays etc. Jokes on that last one, but you get the drift. Some bad dudes steal the crown, and though the local region falls into disrepair, and isn't a threat to the other kingdoms, there's a worry the crown's power might also work for evil, so it must be recovered.

In true FF style, the powers that be select a destitute, mediocre wizard with a skill of 6 and a backpack severely lacking in sandwiches to undergo the mission. The 'Sightmaster Sergeant', which sounds important but is basically a flash way of saying 'Doorman' even goes out of his to tell me he's not going to wish me a safe journey, cause it won't be. Well, Mr Sightmaster, it won't be NOW, will it? Gees.

I soon come across a village, and the text tells me as the path goes into the village, I must also go into the village. Since when was this an Ian Livingstone book? Anyway, I wander in and ask for further directions, fully expecting to be told 'the path'. The guy tells me to head for Kristatanti, and to not go via the lower path, cause there are elves. The higher path merely has mines.

Being a wizard, and more comfortable amongst elves than dwarves, I decide to go via the low path anyway. Besides, his other piece of advice was to beware the Black Lotus - like I was going to pick a flower called the Black Lotus. I've done enough FF to know that.

Wandering on, guy in tree gives me a page from a spell book - incomplete, but I bet you've also read enough FF to know the page number was intact. 

The next night I settle on the world's softest rocks, going to sleep quickly. I'm woken by glowing little elf things throwing stones at fish - oh, these kind of elves! I thought he meant Legolas-style elves, not Happy Little Elves-elves. I ignore them, and head off again in the morning.

Just when I started thinking the book was getting a little easy, I fall into a trap set by headhunters - the tribal kind, I assume, not the gang (amusing side note: the very laptop I'm writing on was once stolen, and when recovered by police containted photos of the daughter of the NZ celebrity in that piece hanging out with the crims - no shit).

Anyway, there's a get-out-of-jail-free card in the Sorcery! series, and that's praying to Libra. Thank fuck it's not that Reaving Riddler guy, he's kind of... I don't know, something about me wouldn't entrust a mission of this supposed importance to that guy. I prayed, and was saved at the last minute, ie as I was being lowered into the cauldron, about to become the bacon in some kind of bacon bone soup.

And before you ask, yes, I did try a spell - DUM - but learned at that moment (according to the text) I can't cast spells when my hands are bound. You think they'd have mentioned that at Hogwarts, no?

So, Libra lets me escape, and I'm soon wandering through the forest again, this time being pelted by acorns thrown by elvins. I whip out FOF, a forcefield spell that comes at a cost of 4 stamina, only to wonder if a few acorns would have been any worse. Doesn't matter really, cause there's ample opportunity for eats and sleeps, both of which I partake in at the next village, Kristatanti. At the bar I end up sitting with the village idiot, but I'm not sure who's stupider, him or I, considering the text tells me I sit with him for an hour before realising this.

Onward some more, I arrive at the awesomely named Dhumpus, and decide to crash for the night.

And here I Dhumpus the book till next week!