Read The Curse of Naar Online

Authors: Joe Dever

Tags: #Fiction, #Fantasy, #Lone Wolf, #Magnamund

The Curse of Naar (5 page)

Sun Prince

If you are a Grand Master who has reached the rank of Sun Prince (11 Disciplines), you will now benefit from improvements to the following Grand Master Disciplines:

Animal Mastery
Kai Sun Princes with this Discipline are able to alter their appearance, including clothing and equipment, to take on the guise of any animal that they may come into contact with. This physical change will only be witnessed by the animal in question.
Deliverance
Sun Princes with this ability are able to cause the regeneration of lost body parts, i.e. hands, feet, arms, legs, eyes, and internal organs. This improved Discipline can be used to repair a Sun Prince's own body, or that of another person or creature. The time required to effect regeneration depends on the size and relative importance of the body part affected.
Assimilance
Kai Sun Princes who possess this Discipline are able to create an illusory double of themselves and project this image up to a range of thirty feet. The Sun Prince must remain in visual contact with his/her image in order to maintain the illusion. Physical, magical, and psychic attacks upon the illusory image will cause no injury. The range of this ability increases substantially when a Sun Prince attains the rank of Kai Supreme Master.
Kai-surge
Sun Princes who possess mastery of this Discipline are able to focus their psychic power into a Kai-ray: a laser-like beam of mental energy capable of penetrating the strongest of psychic defences. This ability can be used once during a combat to reduce an enemy's
ENDURANCE
score by 15 points. However, use of this Kai-ray will also reduce a Sun Prince's
ENDURANCE
score by 4 points. It cannot be used if a Sun Prince's
ENDURANCE
score is 10 or less, and it cannot be used in conjunction with any other form of psychic attack.
Kai-screen
Sun Princes who possess this Discipline are able to create a mental sanctuary in which to keep safe their minds from psychic assault. Creation of this sanctuary does not require thought or concentration; it occurs instantly whenever a Kai Sun Prince is subjected to psychic attack. The defensive strength of this sanctuary further increases when a Sun Prince attains the rank of Kai Supreme Master.
Grand Huntmastery
Grand Masters who have reached the rank of Sun Prince are able to control their direction and rate of movement when subjected to strong currents of air or water, or when venturing through non-material planes of existence, e.g. Shadow Gates.
Grand Master's Wisdom

You are about to embark upon the ultimate quest against the Dark God Naar, the Master of all Evil. Your search for the precious Moonstone will take you to the Plane of Darkness where you can expect no help at all from the monstrous creatures who inhabit this terrible realm. You should remain wary and on your guard at all times for this mission will be the most dangerous you have ever undertaken.

Some of the things that you will encounter during your quest will be of use to you, while others may be red herrings of no real value at all. If you discover items, be selective in what you choose to keep.

Pick your Grand Master Disciplines with care for a wise choice will enable any player to complete the quest, no matter how weak their initial
COMBAT SKILL
and
ENDURANCE
scores may be. Successful completion of previous
Lone Wolf
adventures, although an advantage, is not essential for the completion of this Grand Master adventure.

May the light of Kai and Ishir be your guide as you strive to outwit and defeat the Dark God and his loathsome minions.

For Sommerlund and the Kai!

1

Your journey through the Shadow Gate is a cold and lonely voyage, yet one that you endure without fear for you sense that Alyss is watching over you. She is using her powers to steer you safely home to Magnamund. As you hurtle through the timeless void, you remember vividly the last few moments which preceded your leap into the Shadow Gate and your triumphant escape from Naar's throne hall, the innermost sanctum of his stronghold upon the Plane of Darkness. You recall how Alyss commanded you to flee whilst she drew away the frenzied attacks of Naar's champion, Kekataag the Avenger. It was her selfless act of bravery which enabled you to escape and it has left an indelible mark upon your conscience. Inspired by her courage — and by the realization that if the Dark God is to be stopped from sending more of his foul creations to Magnamund you must deny him the fabled Moonstone of the Shianti — you vow that you will return to the Plane of Darkness and recapture that precious stone of power.

After what seems like an eternity, gradually the inky blackness of the abyss is illuminated by a fluorescent vapour studded with whirling motes of light. Clumps of tiny stars swirl around your body like swarms of glowing moths until you become completely cocooned within a shroud of blinding white luminescence. Then, quite suddenly, you feel solid ground once more beneath your feet and you emerge from the light to find yourself standing in a dank, subterranean vault.

Turn to 160
.

2

You throw yourself forwards and tumble into the adjoining tunnel barely seconds before the gigantic beetle-creature thunders past in a cloud of dust, hauling a long line of ore wagons in its wake. Some of these heavy wagons are empty but the majority are piled high with grey metallic rock, heavily veined with a mineral which radiates a strange yellow luminescence.

If you wish to attempt to leap onto the last ore wagon as it passes by the junction,
turn to 181
.

If you do not wish to leap onto the wagon,
turn to 158
.

3

As the first bolts come whistling through the air, you throw yourself behind Shamath's great Throne of Power. Crouching here, as you listen fearfully to the hiss of flying missiles and the screams of the approaching horde, you notice the waters of the strange pool which lies no more than a dozen yards from the throne. Beyond this pool you see the pair of huge black gates which dominate the far wall of this chamber and suddenly you recall the text which appeared in the Tome of Darkness. This must be the Pool of Sorrows, and beyond it are the Gates of Darkness, an exit from this cruel domain. Your feelings of excitement at having discovered a way to escape the approaching horde are tempered when you further recall that you must spill your own blood into the pool if you are to leave this realm successfully. Without hesitation, you stab a finger against the point of your belt buckle and draw a few droplets of blood. Then you spring to your feet and rush towards the pool. As you come to within a few yards, you flick your finger and a stunning transformation takes place the instant your blood hits the pool's swirling surface.

Turn to 300
.

4

The swirling mist condenses and reshapes itself into a column of flickering light. It resembles a large candle flame, but one that radiates an icy coldness. Within this chill flame you see a pair of glowing eyes that mesmerize and hold you transfixed. Pulses of psychic energy bombard your mind, making you shudder and recoil as your innate mind defences scramble to shield your psyche: lose 3
ENDURANCE
points.

Illustration I
—The carpet of maggots squirm towards you like a seething flood-tide of corruption.

Sensing that its attack has weakened you, the spirit of Cadak ruthlessly seizes the advantage. It issues a psychic command and instantly the carpet of maggots wriggle and squirm towards you like a seething flood-tide of corruption.

If you possess Animal Mastery,
turn to 92
.

If you do not possess this skill,
turn to 69
.

5

You have survived the first volley but your ordeal is far from over. As soon as the front rank hurl their spears they retreat to let those behind them come forward to take their places at the rim of the pit. With cool defiance you stare back at this new rank of mutants. This time you count more than thirty spears held ready to be hurled at you upon Nza'pok's command, far more than you can hope to avoid at once, even with the aid of magic. Yet, despite the overwhelming odds, you refuse to show this loathsome spawn any sign of weakness or despair.

You offer up a silent prayer to the God Kai to protect you, and then suddenly you recall part of the script of the Tome of Darkness that told of a secret name which can bind Nza'pok when spoken aloud. This name could be the key to your survival, yet you have no time left to retrieve the book from your Backpack. If you are to use this secret name you must try to recall it from memory.

If you think that Nza'pok's secret name is ‘Hulka’,
turn to 171
.

If you think that the name is ‘Khula’,
turn to 105
.

If you think that the name is ‘Lukha’,
turn to 56
.

6

Suddenly you hear Alyss's voice in your mind.

‘Take up the axe, Lone Wolf,’ she cries. ‘Use Kekataag's weapon to smite the power that holds me captive!’

You respond to her command and quickly you stoop to retrieve Kekataag's mighty two-handed axe which lies upon the floor, close to his mouldering remains. You close your hands around its iron handle, but when you try to raise it from the floor you discover that it is supernaturally heavy.

Pick a number from the
Random Number Table
. If you possess Kai-alchemy, add 2 to the number you have picked. If your current
ENDURANCE
score is 15 or higher, add 1. If your
ENDURANCE
score is 8 or lower, deduct 1.

If your total score is 3 or lower,
turn to 346
.

If it is 4 or higher,
turn to 12
.

7

As you listen to the rumbling sound drawing closer, you notice markings in the grit and dust which blankets the ground. You count wheel prints that have been made by several heavy wagons, and there are also innumerable rippled tracks that you cannot readily identify. The only markings you have experienced which bear any resemblance to these tracks were much smaller and were made by a centipede.

The curious tracks have diverted your attention from the approaching noise. You glance along the tunnel and see a dark shape speeding through the gloom. Its width almost completely fills the tunnel.

If you wish to wait for it to come closer so that you attempt to identify it,
turn to 141
.

If you wish to try to find somewhere you can hide from it,
turn to 266
.

8

Using your weapon you are able eventually to dig yourself free from this sticky mire. However, the physical exertion leaves you aching with fatigue: lose 5
ENDURANCE
points. Also, due to the prolonged time you have spent in the open, the rain has taken a heavy toll on your clothing and equipment. Your cloak is in tatters and your Backpack is full of holes. When you reach the knoll you stop to repair your Backpack before the damage gets any worse and discover that three of the items contained within have been ruined. (Delete from your
Action Chart
the items which you have recorded in the first three sections of your Backpack Items list.)

The boughs of the thorny-barked trees of this swamp island are tightly intertwined and form a formidable barrier. Through a gap in their tortured branches you can see a clearing at the centre of this copse and, when you magnify your vision, you glimpse part of a crude stone hut. You raise your weapon and cleave a path through the trees to the clearing where you discover that the hut is surrounded by a moat brim-full of gelatinous black mud, the surface of which is pitted with a myriad animal tracks. Sensing that the hut is empty, you leap across the moat and take cover inside from the corrosive rain.

If you possess Telegnosis and have reached the rank of Grand Thane or higher,
turn to 269
.

If you do not possess this skill, or if you have yet to attain this level of Kai Mastery,
turn to 348
.

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