After getting comments and insight from a number of readers, we have wound up with our Lone Wolf setting out with the following five Kai Disciplines: Healing, Sixth Sense, Animal Kinship, Mindshield and (my personal addition) Weaponskill: Sword. (I cheated a bit and rolled the weapon before deciding whether to pick Weaponskill or not. Since it rolled sword, I really wanted to grab it now for use with the Sommerswerd later.) The other four were all chosen by reader-suggestion.
The Story So Far
While out gathering wood as punishment for not paying attention in class, you see a cloud of dark, leather-winged shapes fly overhead, so many of them as to blot out the sun. I quote,
"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. "
Quickly realizing their target is the Kai Monastery, you drop your wood and race to the aid of your school! But it is to no avail. You trip and strike your head on a low-hanging branch (what kind of hero are you anyway?)
You awaken to the complete destruction of the Kai Monastery. Here and there amidst the rubble you see the broken bodies of your teachers and fellow students. Wiping away tears with a grime encrusted hand, you realize that you must journey to warn the King...
...for you are now the last of the Kai Lords.
Able to scrounge nothing from the ruins, you depart with only the supplies you had with you: a woodsman's axe, backpack, an emergency healing potion and enough food for one meal. As you leave, you find a single gold coin gleaming in the rubble. You take it for good luck.
Luck that you will sorely need.
Despite your fatigue, you leave the ruins immediately--before the black-winged beasts decide to return and finish the job. A sixth sense seems to warn you that the paths will be watched, so you strike out into the undergrowth at random.
The shriek of some terrible animal above alerts you that you made the right choice in getting off the path. You remain motionless while the sound of great wings beats above you. When all is still again, you press onward.
The sound of shouting and a clap of thunder alerts you to a commotion ahead, through the forest. Staying swift but silent, you approach the noise.
You come upon a forest clearing. In the middle of the clearing stands an ancient ruin, tumble-down walls green with moss. A full war-party of Mountain Giaks (vicious, goblin-like creatures) lays siege to the ruins. Here and there amid the stones lies a broken body of a fallen Giak.
But you cannot see any defenders. The Giaks seem to wave their blades at the inanimate stones themselves. Then a slim, blue-clad figure steps from behind a pillar. As you watch, he mutters arcane words and magical power crackles between his fingertips. He releases the energy in a bolt of lightning into the heart of the enemy, and a half-dozen Giaks fall to the ground in charred husks!
To your amazement, the ruins are being defended by a young man no older than yourself. You recognize his sky-blue robes, embroidered with stars. He is a young theurgist of the Magicians' Guild of Toran: an apprentice in magic.
The remaining Giaks of that group flee from the young mage's position to re-group under the trees. But even as they do so, another bunch move from the cover of forest to attack from another direction, led by one of the tallest and meanest looking Giaks you have ever seen.
While you watch, a small Giak creeps up, hidden from the mage by a wall of rubble. The Giak climbs one of the ruined pillars, a dagger clenched between his teeth. The young magician does not see him!
What will you do?
If you wish to shout a warning to the wizard, turn to 241.
If you wish to run forward and attack the Giak when he jumps, turn to 55.
If you wish to pick up a chunk of temple marble and throw it at the Giak's head, turn to 302.
Or if you would rather turn and leave the battle area, and run back into the woods, turn to 101.