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.
Our combat skill is 19 (base) plus 4 (surprise) plus 2 (Mind Blast), for 25. That gives us a differential of +11 or greater on the Big Chart of Hurt, and with a Random Number of 10 that results in an instant kill to our friend the hapless Giak, and no damage to us. We rule!
Upon seeing you emerge from the woods, the Giak officer shouts 'Ogot! Ogot!' to his cowering troops, who flee the ruins and run to the safety of the forest.
Shaking his mailed fist at you, the black-clad Giak screams, 'RANEG ROGAG OK -- ORGADAKA OKAK ROGAG GAJ!' before leaving. Surveying the scene of the battle, you count over fifteen Giak dead lying among the broken pillars of Raumas.
The young wizard wipes his brow and walks towards you, his hand extended in friendship.
Turn to 349.
He is a young blond-haired youth with deep brooding eyes. His face is lined with exhaustion and the grime of battle, and his long sky-blue robes bear evidence of living rough in the wilds. He shakes your hand and bows. 'My eternal thanks, Kai Lord. My powers are nearly drained. Had you not come to my aid, I fear I would have ended my days atop a Giak lance.'
He is weak and unsteady on his feet. You take his arm and sit him down upon a fallen pillar where you listen intently to what he has to say.
'My name is Banedon. I am a journeyman to the Brotherhood of the Crystal Star, which is the magician's guild of Toran. My Guildmaster has sent me to your monastery with this urgent message.' He removes a vellum envelope from inside his robes and hands it to you.
'As you see, I have opened the letter and read its contents. When the war started, I was on the highway with two travelling companions. The Kraan attacked us and we lost each other in the forest during our escape.'
The letter is a warning to the Kai Lords that the Darklords have mustered a vast army beyond the Durncrag range. The Guildmaster urges the Kai to cancel the celebrations of Fehmarn and prepare for war.
'I fear we were betrayed,' says Banedon, his head bowed in sorrow.
'One of my order, a brother called Vonatar, had explored the forbidden mysteries of the Black Art. Ten days ago he denounced the Brotherhood and killed one of our Elders. He has since disappeared. It is rumoured that he now aids the Darklords.'
You tell Banedon what has happened at the monastery, and of your mission to warn the King. Silently, he removes a gold chain from around his neck and hands it to you. On the chain is a small Crystal Star Pendant. 'It is the symbol of my Brotherhood, and we are both truly brothers in this hour of darkness. It is a talisman of good fortune -- may it protect you on your road ahead.'
You thank him, place the chain around your neck, and slip the Crystal Star inside your shirt. (Remember to mark this on your Action Chart.)
Banedon bids you farewell. 'We must leave this place lest the Giaks return with more of their loathsome kind to put an end to us. I must return to my Guild. I bid you farewell, my brother. May the luck of the gods go with you.'
Turn to 293.
With a wave of his hand, Banedon leaves the ruins and you continue your mission, pushing on through the thick woods ahead. You have not gone far when you realize several pairs of yellow eyes are watching you from the undergrowth to your left. Suddenly, a black arrow skims the top of your head. It is a Giak ambush and you must run as fast as you can to escape it.
Turn to 281.
As you race through the trees you can hear the horrible cackle of the Giaks close behind you. Soon the trees start to think out and directly ahead you can see a rocky hillside.
I vote to stay in the forest… but only because I see some possibility for that camouflage discipline….