Friday 5 March 2010

Sorcery #3 - The Seven Serpents

Much like John Locke, death can't stop the hero of the Sorcery! series, and so here we go again, with part three - The Seven Serpents.

It's been a while since I did part two, enough time to go back to Hogwarts and get a bit more magic training done. Well, a skim through the back few pages before beginning.

So, onto the book. The bad guy's got some magic winged serpents who've found out your on the way to wreck his evil shenanigans, so they're on their way to tell him. All seven. And they're magic. Not so magic they can just magic themselves back to bad guy HQ (which despite the fantasy setting, I like to think resembles Globex Corporation). Or fly.

The seven serpents are kind of based on the elements. And the sun and moon. And time. If they aligned themselves with Captain Planet, we could've knocked this climate change business on the head a long time ago. That 'heart' kid really screwed things up.

So, into the Baklands. Right on the first page there are storm clouds, the region is unmapped, and there's a big fuck-off scary bird illustration. Great. Turns out they're Nighthawks (fighter of the Dayhawks?) and they're here to fuck my shit up. I think hey, I know my magic spells, having just read my spell book prior to my resurrection, and cast WAL (it makes a wall). They fly around it.

Luckily, an even scarier bird turns up and frightens them off, and it has a message for me - the serpents are on their way, blah blah blah. It then leaves, under a cloak of invisibility. Doesn't offer to give me a ride to my destination or anything.

Moving on, I stop to eat and a talking tree tells me to go east, where a hermit will give me some advice. Ents don't lie, right?

This one didn't. I came across Shadrack, a hermit in the middle of nowhere that knew all about my journey. Come on! If a hermit in the middle of the Baklands, which no Analander has ever successfully crossed, knows about my mission... I'm again wondering how important it is to kill these serpents. Word about my mission is probably all over the Old World Twitter by now.

The next bunch I come across don't know me though. A group of Centaurs tell me there's a snake charmer nearby, so I head off in search of him. Maybe he's managed to lure some of these supposedly magic serpents.

He hasn't, it turns out - he's just got a bunch of ordinary snakes, which he controls with his magic flute. No, neither of those was a euphemism. I cast SUS, quickly work out he wants to know what's in my pack. Nothing he wants, it turns out, so in true FF tradition, a fight breaks out. He's a good snake charmer though - his six pets attack me one at a time. I don't know, I've never had to train a snake before, but they don't strike me as the kind of animal you can get to fight in sequence.

Maybe I found a really, really narrow hallway?

Anyway, I barely win, and have snake bite poison running through my system. Still, I pick up his magic flute and some holy water for my troubles. Isn't it convenient that everyone in Titan carries magical items on their person?

The poison will kill me by sundown if I don't find a cure, so I trek on quickly. Despite my efforts to avoid another rumble, considering I'm bleeding stamina points at double the normal rate, I'm soon attacked by an Internet Explorer. Wait, I mean a Firefox. If it was an Internet Explorer, I'd probably have been hit with a virus on top of my poison. BA-DOOM-TISH!

It eventually kills itself - no joke. Every time I hit it, it explodes into fire, risking my wellbeing, but losing 1 skill and 1 stamina itself. Not being the brightest creature, it exploded into fire on a single stamina point. If it was Internet Explorer, the book itself probably would have crashed.

Night soon came. I decided to trek on, in the hope of finding some snake poison antidote before the morning, and in doing so, lost 4 stamina points instead of 2, which killed me. I like to think I walked myself to death, rather than died from poison. It's somehow more noble.

The next book, The Crown Of Kings, is something like a million pages long. It's gonna take some mental preperation to dive into that. I've had Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged sitting on my bedside table for about two or three weeks now - that's where I put it when I got home from the library, and that's likely where it will be when I have to return it. It's just so... epic-looking. Well, that, and apparently it's a sickening book no self-respecting liberal kind of guy should ever take seriously.

We'll see which I get to first.


Thomas Nielsen said...

Great to have you back in action Dan, i've been missing your wonderfully snarky readthrough.

As for Atlas Shrugged, i get the impression, you haven't heard much about it.
If you consider yourself liberal(in the american sense), you're not going to enjoy it.
In case you want to know, Ayn Rand was a woman who made Margeret Thatcher look like a hippie.
The book doesn't have much of a plot, none of the characters act like normal humnans, it's riddled with scientific flaws, and the climax is a 60-page speech about the virtues of selfishness and greed. If you still feeel like reading it you had better wear some kind of helmet, as it can make people bang their heads into the wall by reflex.

dan x said...

I'm not just an 'American liberal' - I'm a New Zealand liberal! Here in Kiwiland, even many of our conservative politicians could be considered left of Barack Obama :)

It's always useful to understand the other side though, which is why I got it out of the library. But I've not yet had a single person recommend trying to read it.

Thomas Nielsen said...

Hehe, ok:-) I live in Denmark on the other side of the globe, so i don't know much about New Zealand politics.
A little note though: Steve Jackson was actually inspired to start working with fantasy professionaly after reading Atlas Shrugged!
It was a horrible moment for me when i found out. My interest in fantasy started with Fighting Fantasy, and i'm writing my own book now, with a John Galt inspired villain.
I could almost see Ayn Rand glare at me from beyond the grave, saying "Luke, i am your father!" :-P

Dan said...

Thomas - the worst people and situations often inspire the best songs, movies, TV, etc. Marilyn Manson once said he was looking forward to the Bush era, saying better music always comes from Republican governments. It's a pity that's around the time his music started to suck.

But if Steve Jackson was inspired to start writing after reading Ayn Rand, it might not be a bad thing!


Stepas said...

You missed the possibility to have Libra curing you from the poison. Anyway I really like your FF accounts, so bad you always die incredibly soon...

Anonymous said...

That was piss-poor Dan. The accounts of your previous 2 Sorcery books were in-depth, analytical masterpieces spiced with a little humour and a touch of sarcasm.
You didn't really try this time round did you?
Now go back and do it again, or try redeem yourself with the 4th installment. You have much to do....