Level 8

1. As I stepped from the stairway, the door - yes - slammed shut. That wasn't unexpected. What did take me by surprise was the serpent that I nearly stepped on. I spotted it in time, however, and took off running to the west.

2. I dropped off the edge of the landing and then dropped again.

3. When I landed on the next ledge, I noticed a tunnel leading to the east.

4. Through the tunnel, I found a healing potion down a couple of landings, but, since I didn't need it, I backtracked and crawled again through the tunnel.

3. I dropped to the second landing and jumped across to the west. Then I walked over to the gap in the floor and lowered myself off the western edge.

5. I dangled over a hallway. Directly below me I saw a pressure plate and an open iron gate. I swung my body to the west and dropped, avoiding the pressure plate. As I landed noticed a blade trap behind me and another pressure plate. I decided to skip all that and facing west, jumped across the lower landing. A loose floor tile fell behind me. I ran through the gate to the west.

6. I had to fight a goblin head, but was able to destroy it quickly by drawing my sword, taking one step fonvard, and smashing the creature against the wall. There was a tunnel leading into the wall before me, but it turned out to be a dead end. I climbed onto the second landing and ran to the west.

7. Ahead of me was an open gate However, I discovered some loose floor tiles and made them fall, revealing a series of ledges below, I decided to investigate the lower path first.

8. I climbed onto a landing, then carefully stepped forward and jumped across the gap to the east.

9. I noticed a loose tile near my feet. I made it drop and noticed that it opened a gate below I dropped to the floor, passed through the gate, then under a blade trap, and found a tunnel leading farther the east.

10. I could see the goblin head from inside the tunnel. It was moaning and making sounds that might have been a mournful song, eerie as the thought struck me. I waited until it was as far away as it could get, then quickly came out of the tunnel. Why risk another encounter with one of these fiends? Well you may ask. Hamza. It was a Life Enhancement Potion, that most precious of elixirs.

I was barely able to draw my broken sword before the fiend was upon me, and I think, had my timing or position not been perfect, I would have been chewed up. As it was, I had to fight furiously to destroy the creature. But then, the reward was worth it.

I noticed a well-hidden pressure plate just before the potion, but I jumped over it cautiously, as it looked like the kind that closed gates and I didn't want the gate to the west to close. I drank the potion, then jumped back over the plate and crawled back through the tunnel.

There's an easier (yes, really much easier) way to beat this goblin head, but you must have at least five potions. Wait until the head is right next to the tunnel, then come out and draw your sword. It will hit you several times, but you'll end up facing west. Smash the head against the wall and it will die with one stroke. This is usually a much quicker way to kill the head as well, since the thing doesn't go up into the far corner very often.

9. When I got back to the gate it was still open, so I went through it. I climbed back up to the second landing, then to the third. As I reached the third landing, the gate below me closed, it had a pressure plate on it.

The gap was very narrow between me and the next tile, but I was afraid I might jump too far. Instead of jumping, I therefore, I walked off the edge of the tile I was on, catching the next one with my hands and and pulling myself back up. Then I jumped across from this tile to the next.

8. I climbed back up to where I had come from.

7. I had seen the open iron gate previously. This time I jumped across the gap to the west and through the gate.

11. I came into a room with a healing potion, but somehow the appeal of the room was marred by the pair of serpents that inhabited it. I watched as the two creatures slithered into a hole in the floor, then ran trough the room to the west. I had no need of the potion anyway!

12. A goblin head floated above and to the west. There was a high path and a lower path. I climbed to the upper path and the goblin spotted me. I just had time to draw my sword and fight the thing off. Once it was destroyed, I headed west again.

There's a trick you can play on the goblin head in Room 12. Stand next to the upper landing and wait until it discovers you. It will come after you, but will probably go under the landing. Quickly climb up and run across. The head will be stuck below and you can run from the room without having to fight it.

13. Another goblin head floated above me, I was afraid to climb up to its level. It was too close. So I stood back in the eastern part of the room, my sword tip just even with the first column, ready for it when it finally discovered me. I fought it off and killed it in six well-timed strokes. Once the head was longer a threat, I found an opening in the ceiling and climbed through it.

14. Ah, what a wonder it is to perceive a blade so finely wrought. Gleaming and sharp, it lay abandoned between two rusted and twisted iron gates. I quickly an tried to pick up the sword.

Instantly, the world turned black. A bolt of great energy shot through me, like lightning, and I could feel myself falling to the ground. Even as my mind fought to retain consciousness, I slipped away, deeper and deeper. Finally, I saw myself, lying there in the same great room, the same two iron gates, but now everything was as it must have been once long ago. I could see as if from outside my body but I could not move.

I lay on a great carpet woven in a royal pattern. The two gates no longer rusted and broken, now sparkled golden in the diffused light, and the walls and floors were as new. A woman appeared as if from the very air. It was the queen of my visions and she stood over my body, which lay still and lifeless. She spoke.

"Once this was a great city ruled by a son of kings. He was slain and his palace laid waste by the armies of darkness. I died at his side. You alone were spared, my son. I gave you up that you might live. This was you father's sword. Avenge us. Avenge us."

It may seem incredible, Hamza, and you might think I was simply delirious or bewitched, but to me, her voice had the ring of truth in it and I was, and am, convinced that she was my own mother, come from the dead to warn me, and to plead with me.

It wasn't until much later that the meaning of her words sank in. She was my mother Her husband had been a king. Then I was truly a prince, not just by my marriage, but by birth!

But when I awakened, once again in the ruin that had one been my father's palace, I clutched my new sword and set off through the western gate.

15. My blade was tested sooner than I had expected. As I entered the next cavernous room, three of the deadly goblin heads came shrieking to the attack. I destroyed the first with a few strokes, and noticed immediately that this sword was far more effective than the broken blade I had been using. But the other two heads kept attacking. My new blade bit deep, and I made short work of them.

There was a door in the room, but I saw no way to open it. High above me I could see a pathway, but there was no way to reach it. I continued west.

16. Again, I fought three heads. Sometimes the heads would go into a sulk and float away, but knew by now that meant nothing and so stayed on guard. This room had two doorways and a healing potion, but no way to open the doors. I continued cautiously west.

17. I stepped on a pressure plate as I entered this latest area, but was immediately attacked by three more goblin heads - the three toughest I had yet encountered. But with a whole sword and a good sense of timing, I made short work of them.

A door had opened under another of the ubiquitous serpent signs. I peeked briefly into the next room and saw more goblin heads, then ran for the stairs.

Continue to Chapter 5: The Shadow & the Flame (Level 9)
Table of Contents