Category Archives: Lone Wolf: Flight from the Dark

When last we left ourselves … that sure sounds wrong. Let’s go with “When last we left Lone Wolf”, we had to decide whether or not to investigate some smoke rising from the woods before us. Mustering our Kai Discipline of Cajones, we chose to go on ahead rather than bravely running away. We’ll see how that works out …

Carefully parting the dense foliage, you are horrified by the sight that meets you. In a small clearing ahead, three Giaks have tied a man to a wooden stake and are setting fire to a mass of brushwood bundled at his feet. You recognize his tunic as that of a border ranger, one of the King’s men who police the kingdom near the Durncrag mountains of the west. He has been badly beaten and is nearly unconscious.

Typical ranger. Ambushed in the woods and ready to serve as someone’s dinner. Where’s an Aragorn when you need one?!

Regardless, we do not have the Kai Discipline of Hunting because except for the spear and the mind blast we are anti-violence. That’s too bad, because if we did have that Discipline, we might have been able to opt for a sneakier approach as well as turning to 297, which I’ve always wanted to visit. I hear it’s lovely this time of year. Alas, lacking the skills of the stalker, we therefore “must attack the Giaks now in order to save the ranger’s life. Turn to 336“.

You rush into the clearing and take the Giaks completely by surprise. Without a moment’s hesitation, you strike out at the one nearest to you. he is dead before his body hits the ground. The other Giaks unsheath their curved swords and attack you. You must fight them one at a time.
Giak 1: Combat Skill 14, Endurance 11.
Giak 2: Combat Skill 13, Endurance 11.

This is what we get for running towards danger instead of away from it. Stupid cajones. We have a base combat skill of 19, +2 for our Kai Discipline of Mind Blast, and another +2 for using a spear (acquired a few sessions ago) with our Kai Discipline of Weapon Skill. With that much extra mojo, if these guys were pigs we’d probably be able to use our Kai Discipline of Animal Kinship to convince the bastards to spit themselves for us. Maybe after this we can go to Kai-Mart and pick up some of that.

Before then, though, we have to dispose of a couple of Giaks. With a combat differential on Giak 1 of +9, and a random “roll” (actually a “close your eyes and point”) of 9 as well, we fell the porcine pugilist with one mighty blow, taking no damage ourselves! Go us!

That leaves one dastardly foe to face, however. This time our combat differential is a +10, which frankly means we ought to be able to moon him to death. This time we only roll a 6, however, and while that results in 14 points of damage for our friend — a kill — we do take one point of damage ourselves, bringing us to 23. Jerk! He probably bled on us as we gutted him, Giaks are rude that way.

Having won, we free the ranger and head to scenic 117.

The man is badly injured and near to death. If you have the Kai Discipline of Healing [we do not, we decided to go for the Slacker Curriculum instead], you may ease the pain of his wounds but he has been so seriously hurt he is beyond repair by your skills alone. He soon lapses into unconsciousness. You try to make him as comfortable as possible beneath a large forest oak, before leaving and pressing on through the thick woodland towards the northeast. Turn to 330.

Cheap! We might as well have let them roast the fellow and saved ourselves the stains on our spiffy Kai Cloak of Cloaking. Ah well, a good deed seldom goes unrewarded. Eventually. Maybe. Just not, you know, now. On to 330!

Fatigued by your exertions, you stop to rest for a few minutes at a fallen tree. You notice a large bundle, beneath the trunk.

Haven’t these people ever heard that you’re not supposed to leave any packages or luggage unattended? No wonder the Giaks are taking over the place!

You're smokin'!

Having exercised our Kai Discipline of Running Away, we have bravely decided to flee the obnoxious bird and leave our former path in the forest.

For half an hour o rmore you press on through the forest, through the rich vegetation and ferns. You happen upon a small clear stream where you stop for a few minutes to wash your face and drink of the cold, fresh water.

Feeling revitalized, you cross the stream and press on. You soon notice the smell of woodsmoke which seems to be drifting towards you from the north.

I bet I know how this is going to go. After all, smoke can make you all itchy.

Fogwood

When last we left our intrepid Lone Wolf, we were deciding whether or not to avoid a thicket of Sleeptooth. Continuing our unparalleled history of conflict avoidance, we chose to shy away from stabbity things and instead returned to the path. Thus:

Keeping a watchful eye on the sky above, you move quickly along the track. you recall that this route leads to Fogwood, a small cluster of huts that have been used by a family of charcoal burners for nearly fifty years. After twenty minutes you reach the edge of a clearing where the huts are grouped in a small circle. There is no sign of the usual mist of wood-smoke which gives Fogwood its apt name, and the huts are unusually quiet.

If we had the Kai Discipline of Tracking, we could turn to 134 and the untold glories that lie there. Sadly, we skipped Kai School that day to go picking daisies and thus do not have the ability to Track. Thus you “prepare your weapon and stealthily approach the huts”, turning to 305.

Through the open doorway of the first hut, you can see the body of a charcoal burner lying face down on the rough stone floor. He has been murdered, stabbed in the back by a spear. All his furniture and belongings have been smashed and broken and not one piece remains intact.

This is the evil handiwork of Giaks without any doubt, for they delight in the destruction of all things. A quick check of the other huts reveals a similar story of murder and wreckage. In the last hut that you search, you discover a Giak Spear — proof of your suspicions. You may keep this Weapon if you wish.

More determined than ever now to succeed in your mission, you continue along the track.

Turn to 105.

Wahoo, Spear! We have the Kai Discipline “Weaponskill: Spear” so we now get to add 2 to our Combat Skill when using this weapon. With our Mindblast, that gives a total of +4, for a final CS value of 23. Next time we ATTACK that bush!

In the distance, perched on the branch of an old oak tree is a jet black raven.

If you have the Kai Discipline of Animal Kinship (which we do!), you may call to this bird by turning to 298.

The head of the bird slowly turns and it curses you. An instant later, it flies off above the trees and has soon disappeared. Shocked by what you have heard you are now sure that the fledgling was a scout of the Darklords and is now probably on its way to inform them of your whereabouts.

Decisions, decisions. On the one hand, if we take the forest track there might be more shrubbery, and even with our spear I don’t know if we’re up to that. On the other hand a Darklord literally flipped us the bird, and that just ain’t right.

(All images and quoted text ©1984 by Joe Dever and Gary Chalk.)

When last we left ourselves (or something), we were fleeing for our lives from a horde of slavering Mountain Giaks. Note that the text does not explicitly say the Giaks were slavering, but come on, we’re nothing if not a tasty morsel, and I have yet to see a Giak that could resist a little slavering, when slavering is called for. Regardless, the adventure continues, as we decided to change directions to take the forest track instead of dashing uphill.

The Mountain Giaks are unaccustomed to pursuing their prey through forests and you soon outdistance them, until finally the sound of their grunts and curses disappears completely.

When you are satisfied that they have given up the chase, you stop for a few minutes to catch your breath and check your equipment. With the memory of your ruined monastery still blazing in your mind, you gather up your meagre belongings and push on.

Turn to 19.

Just ahead through the tall trees you can see clumps of dark-red Gallowbrush, a thorny briar with sharp crimson barbs. The common name for this forest weed is ‘Sleeptooth’, for the thorns are very sharp and can make you feel weak and sleepy if they scratch your skin.

What shall it be, intrepid fellow adventurers? Is discretion the better part of valor when confronted by a plant, or shall we trust in our hardy Kai flesh to shrug off the effects of the vile weed?

A fight and a speech

The decision has been made to rush to the defense of the young wizard’s apprentice. And by the way, if apprentices can fling around dozens of deadly lightning bolts, remind me never to piss off an actual wizard in this place. Sheesh.

Just as the Giak makes his leap, you race forward and strike out with your weapon — knocking the creature away from the young wizard’s back.

You jump onto the struggling Giak and strike again. Due to the surprise of your attack, add 4 points to your COMBAT SKILL for the duration of this fight but remember to deduct it again as soon as the fight is over.

Giak: COMBAT SKILL 9 ENDURANCE 9

If you win, turn to 325.

Continue reading

Kraaaaaaan!

By a two-to-one margin, you all decided to cut through the heavier foliage towards the northeast, and it looks like our Kai Sixth Sense training has done the trick:

You have cut your way through the thick under-growth for nearly half an hour when you hear the beat of wings high above the trees. Looking up you can just make out the shape of a Kraan approaching from the north. It is one of the monsters that attacked the monastery and on its back are two grey-skinner creatures armed with long spears. These are Mountain Giaks — evil servants of the Darklords, full of hatred and malice. Many centuries ago, their ancestors were used by the Darklords to build the infernal city of Hlgedad, which lies int he volcanic wastelands beyond the Durncrag ranger of mountains. The construction of the city was long and tortuous and only the strongest of the Giaks survived the heat and poisonous atmosphere of Helgedad.

Hidden by the trees, you freeze, ckeeping absolutely still as the Kraan passes overhead and disappears towards the south. When you are sure that it has gone, you move off once again into the forest.

(Turn to 131.)

Had we not been forewarned by our amazing brains, we might have ended up as Kraan-bait. But wait, there’s more!

Continue reading

Lone Wolf: Avoidance

The masses have massively spoken, and the choice was to use our Kai Sixth Sense, resulting in:

Your Sixth Sense has warned you that some of the creatures that attacked the monastery are searching the two paths for any survivors of their raid, but you can avoid both tracks by making your way through the undergrowth of the woods.

Referring back to our map, it looks like we’re supposed to be heading generally southeast if we want to get to the capital to warn the king. And maybe get one of those big roasted turkey legs, those things are always delicious and it seems to be a staple of feasts of the nobility.

Then again, the enemy would know that too, so maybe the sneaky thing to do is to go off in a slightly different direction.

We report, you decide!

Lone Wolf Begins

After playing through quite a bit of the Fabled Lands “Fighting Fantasy” style choose-your-own-adventure module, I decided it was not a good choice for our collaborative effort.

So instead I special ordered a copy of the old “Lone Wolf” series of similar games, the very first in the cycle, called “Flight from the Dark”, by Joe Dever and Gary Chalk. So break out your nightlights, check under the bed, and get ready to flee the night, my friends.

You are the sole survivor of a devastating attack on the monastery where you were learning the skills of the Kai Lords. You swear vengeance on the Darklords for the massacre of the Kai warriors, and with a sudden flash of insight you know what you must do. You must set off on a perilous journey to the capital city to warn the King of the terrible threat that faces his people. For you are now the last of the Kai — you are now LONE WOLF.

Apparently when you graduate to being a Kai Lord you get to have your name appear in all caps. Which is quite the honor, believe me.

Using the random dice roller provided by Wizards of the Coast, I’ve randomly outfitted us for adventure. Our “Kai Disciplines” are Camouflage, Sixth Sense, Weaponskill: Spear, Mind Blast, and Animal Kinship. I suspect we were a rough-and-tumble frontier kid, trained as a poor but elite warrior with both weapons and psionics, a link between the gross material world of animals and men, and the more refined world of the mind.

Or something like that.

We’ve got an axe and a mace (apparently all that mental wizardry didn’t lead us to picking up our chosen weapon of a spear, but whatever), a map of the general realm, a belt pouch with a whopping One gold crown (hence the poor part), and enough food for one meal. We’re good with combat and somewhat hardy.

Here’s “The Story So Far”:

In the northern land of Sommerlund, it has been the custom for many centuries to send the children of the Warrior Lords to the monastery of Kai. There they are taught the skills and disciplines of their noble fathers.

The Kai monks are masters of their art, and the children in their charge love and respect them in spite of the hardships of their training. For one day when they have finally learnt the secret skills of the Kai, they will return to their homes equipped in mind and body to defend themselves against the constant threat of war from the Darklords of the west.

In olden times, during the Age of the Black Moon, the Darklords waged war on Sommerlund. The conflcit was a long and bitter trial of strength that ended in victory for the Sommlending at the great battle of Maakengorge. King Ulnar and the allies of Durenor broke the Darklord armies at the pass of Moytura and forced them back into the bottomless abyss of Maakengorge. Vashna, mightiest of the Darklords, was slain upon the sword of King Ulnar, called “Sommerswerd”, the sword of the sun. Since that age, the Darklords have vowed vengeance upon Sommerlund and the House of Ulnar.

Now it is in the morning of the feast of Fehmarn, when all of the Kai Lords are present at the monastery for the celebrations. Suddenly a great black cloud comes from out of the western skies. So many are the numbers of the black-winged beasts that fill the sky, that the sun is completely hidden. The Darklords, ancient enemy of the Sommlending, are attacking. War has begun.

On this fateful morning, you, Silent Wolf (the name given to you by the Kai) have been sent to collect firewood in the forest as a punishment for your inattention in class. As you are preparing to return, you see to your horror a vast clopud of black leathery creatures swoop down and engulf the monastery.

Dropping the wood, you race to the battle that has already begun. But in the unnatural dark, you stumble and strike your head on a low tree brnach. As you lose consciousness, the last thing that you see in the poor light are the walls of the monastery crashing to the ground.

Many hours pass before you awake. With tears in your eyes you now survey the scene of destruction. Raising your face to the clear sky, you swear vengeance on the Darklords for the massacre of the Kai warriors, and with a sudden flash of realization you know what you must do. You must set off on a perilous journey to the capital city to warn the King of the terrible threat that now faces his people. For you are now the last of the Kai — you are now the Lone Wolf.

You must make haste for you sense it is not safe to linger by the smoking remains of the ruined monastery. The black-winged beasts could return at any moment. You must set out for the Sommerlund capital of Holmgard and tell the King the terrible news of the massacre: that the whole elite of Kai warriors, save yourself, have been slaughtered. Without the Kai Lords to lead her armies, Sommerlund will be at the mercy of their ancient enemy, the Darklords.

Fighting back tears, you bid farewell to your dead kinsmen. Silently, you promise that their deaths will be avenged. You turn away from the ruins and carefully descend the steep track.

At the foot of the hill, the path splits into two directions, both leading into a large wood.

Can’t wait to see which way you all want to go!

(All quoted words, concepts, and art ©1984 by Joe Dever and Gary Chalk. I highly encourage you to go out and buy a back copy of these books for yourself if you enjoy the samples you’re getting!)