Thursday, 15 November 2012

Round 2: Caverns of the Snow Witch

Last time I tried this book, I came away thinking it would have been better titled Caverns of the Snow Bitch.

And this post would be better titled 'Round 3', since I tried it twice last time, rolling two skill scores of 7 and eventually having a giant tanty over how difficult it was.

This time, using the iOS Gamebook Companion app I rolled a skill of 11 - finally, technology has improved upon the humble six-sided die!

So, recapping the plot, there's a Snow Witch hiding out in some caverns (duh), and she's plotting to bring on a new ice age - one so severe, it will freeze orcs' feet in mid-pose, if the cover is to be believed (at least with that fur, his groin will stay warm).

None of this is mentioned in the book's intro though - as it begins, I'm escorting a caravan across an iced-over lake when we come across an outpost that appears to have been trashed by a giant non-witchy type creature which I know happens to be a yeti. No, I don't have special powers - I've just finished reading my previous entry on this book!

Because of this I know the yeti is a tough fight, so despite the book telling me I offer to hunt it down, in real life I had my fingers crossed behind my back so I don't have to, really.

I make my across a bridge, and am set on by two snow wolves with their stamina listed before their skill! Aarrrrghhhghh! Leading with my skill, I dispatch them easy, then make an igloo to hide in while I wait for the blizzard to end.

Once it does, I accidentally run into the yeti I was trying to avoid - all of Allansia to wander in, and I run into the yeti? What are the chances? Again the iPad plays nice, I easily cut it down, and its would-be victim tells me everything I already know about the Snow Witch (except the one detail that would have been useful, as you'll find out below) and the book proper begins.

It's not long before I've found the secret entrance to the caverns, and the first thing I find is a bowl of "yellow liquid" in a brass bowl. What the hell, I drink the witch's piss and what do you know, it's a healing elixir! Maybe this book isn't so brutal after all, depending on whether you classify drinking witch piss as brutal.

It's soon clear I've gone in a different direction to last time too, when I bump into a mountain elf - with my sword! Just as he's about to die, he tells me about the 'obedience collars' the Snow Witch makes her captives wear, gives me his robes and then, I can only presume, dies of frostbite. 

My next encounter is with a dwarf who gives me some balls of iron, presumably belonging to that orc in the picture up there. As he bails on me, he shouts "Beware the white rat!" which sounds like some kind of mafia code word, but this being FF, is probably to be taken literally.

Next up was the ugly robed man that killed me last time. Then, I couldn't decide whether it was him or his robes that were meant to be ugly - I can definitely report now, after looking at the illustration, it's definitely both. Even with just a black line drawing, his robe just screams purple and burnt orange.

We briefly fight, and when the glass prism he's holding (told you it was a brief fight) smashes, a genie emerges and doesn't give me any wishes at all - instead offering the suspiciously specific ability to turn invisible once - and only once. I even bet this once has to be within the pages of this book...

Given the choice of three exits, I choose the one leading into the mouth of a giant skull, of course, and I'm soon set up on by a crystal warrior, impervious to my feeble sword and skill of 11. Hmmm, how can I sneak past him? If only I had just obtained the ability to... OK, you get it.

My next encounter is with the aforementioned white rat. Aha! I know to 'beware' this thing. Um, now what? I don't have any ground minotaur horn, nor am I wearing a gold ring... oh. I have to fight it, with its skill of 12 and stamina of 14 'cause it's actually a white dragon with an icy breath every attack round.

Again, the iPad dice rolls save my bacon! Time to quaff some provisions, all these gaping wounds are making me hungry.

Checking out the sarcophagus in the corner of the room - it's the Snow Witch! She's a mind-controlling vampire! Do I have anything that can kill a vampire? Nope, just an elf's cloak and a dwarf's iron balls. 

That would be enough to kill a sparkling vampire, but not a real one.