Well, here I go yet again. My character – probably sighing and shaking his head – has made his way all the way back to the main gate of Khare, no doubt swearing when he realizes that he doesn't have the key that would allow him to simply walk through again...because for some reason, probably absent-mindedness, he's decided to walk out of the city back towards Analand. Maybe he got drunk. Who knows. Anyway, I get thrown back into my old cell, and astoundingly, the crazy old man is back again. No sign of my boots, though.
I'm not sleeping this time...which means my Stamina is down to a pathetic seven, and something I need to worry about – though given the paucity of fights I experienced last time, probably not too much. Finding a shop in this city that sells food – and swords, come to that – is a bit of a top-priority for me. I've got gold...but nothing to spend it on! Walking back into the city, I immediately come across a fight. Sigh. This is not a Zombie, but a Living Corpse. Pretty soon it is an Unliving Corpse, and some passing Gnomes toss me five gold pieces. Shame they couldn't have tossed me a sandwich instead.
After the battle, I see some poachers doing something with a pig – deciding to avoid it, I press on. Frankly, I want to get into the Badlands...and a poacher isn't going to have the spell I need. Unless he did. Oh, damn it! It is then I realize that I had the third line all along. Written on a sheet of paper. It didn't make any sense before...but that damn beggar had it. Smacking myself on the head, I at least console myself that I am only scouring Khare for one damn missing line. I have two of the three numbers – this being Fighting Fantasy, I'm trying to put together a three-digit paragraph number – and they are two and four. Presumably in that order, as I got 'two' very early on, and 'four' right at the end. Likely the number I am looking at is in the middle. I'm feeling confident.
Walking to a fair, I take a look at the dancers, and decide to join in. Apparently random passers-by can jump onto the stage and boogie...and it actually gives me a Stamina point! Then I get another one. This is great! Unfortunately all that rubbish in my pockets then leads to a problem. To get out of the dance, I have to roll equal to or more than the number of items I have, or lose stamina. So that's thirteen to roll on two dice, then. Sigh. I'm going to try – and count a 'twelve' as a win. Unsurprisingly, I collapse to the ground...down to four Stamina points.
Staggering away, I go and watch a fight between an Ogre and a Barbarian, on which I am invited to bet. I decline; money isn't a problem right now. I'm offered the chance to fight the Ogre myself, for fifteen gold – and if I had more than four points of Stamina left, I'd probably do it as I outmatch him, but I don't think it's worth taking the risk. Not with only one line to find! Instead I go into a Fortune Teller's tent, only to find that I've spent two gold to play Fantasy Deal or No Deal. Yes, I roll a dice and take whatever is in the box. Sigh. At least I can Test My Luck to improve my chances. I end up with a pair of magical darts...excellent. Feeling tired, and badly wounded, I head for the docks again, and spend the night at the Inn. Of course, the innkeeper tries to kill me again. Sigh.
I got seven Stamina points overnight, so I'm back to fighting trim again, determined to get that last line. It must be around here somewhere. Leaving the inn, I head down a long street, hoping to at last find some shops. Instead, I find a gang of hooligans on the street, and being a truly sensible person, run like hell down a side street until I find sanctuary in the hut of a Gnome. Who has stuff to trade! Wow! And I need one of them badly – it will apparently take me to the last line of the spell. An Enchanted Compass – it must be mine! I manage to swap it for my Gold-Backed Mirror, and off I go! Only to find out it will take me to the damn beggar. Sigh.
Bored, I head for some Gambling Halls. Nobles go to casinos, don't they? It's about all I can think of. No luck; just a couple of games, so I try my luck...and win ten gold pieces on my second try! Fantastic! That's more like it...and leaving the halls, I find a market. Selling things. Like Provisions!!!! And a Sword!!! At last, someone in this damn city that is selling stuff. I'm down to six gold, but with two sets of Provisions, bow and silver arrows, and some stuff that will be needed in the Badlands – snake-bite antidote and a tinder box. This looks very promising. Though I have a sneaky suspicion that I'm going to have to go around Khare yet again. I decide to try the crypt again – maybe that was the place...and sure enough, there is a Deathwraith for me to fight. Thank Libra for the Silver Arrows making the battle fairly short.
And He Had The Last Line! I now have the combination...and I think I can be excused for going right to it, as I'm just bypassing the beggar and the idol. Paying the guards a bribe, I yell out the spell...which I am not going to repeat here...and the gates open! I've made it through!!!! Racing out into the Badlands before the guards can stop me, I do a little dance. Before realizing that I've abandoned myself in one of the most dangerous parts of the world, left what passes for civilization, that I am still half-wounded and mostly-broke, and that the next book is called 'the Seven Serpents', which sounds a bit ominous. Still, I have lived through Khare, and my pockets still loaded with worthless crap, I stride off into the future...
Gold and Treasure
Equipment (Provisions: 2)
Bow and Silver Arrows
Key, Numbered 111
Key, Numbered 206
Ragnar's Armband of Swordmastery (+2 to Attack Strength using a Sword)
Essence of Bark
Silver Serpent Ring (130 in Book 3)
Two Magical Darts (Inflicts a hit on a Test of Skill)
Bonuses, Penalties, Curses
Friendship of Flanker (79 in Book 2)