Fighting Fantasy - The Forest of Doom

Fighting Fantasy – The Forest of Doom Part 1

In the words of Whitesnake, here I go again on my own.

Only the mad or brave would willingly risk a journey in to the Darkwood Forest, yet it is here I go.  In search of the legendary Hammer of Stonebridge sought by the Dwarfs to save their village against an ancient enmity of Trolls ready to destroy it I must make my way.

I begin this journey much like that in Firetop Mountain and in truth wonder if this character isn’t perhaps related to the other as my stats rolls are extremely good.  With a starting Skill of 12, Stamina of 20 and a Luck of 12 I’m pretty much looking to be guaranteed to pass most of my checks except against the toughest or most unavoidable obstacles.  I begin with a Potion of Stamina again, ten provisions and my trusty leather armor, sword, lantern and backpack.  I begin the story a lone adventurer always seeking fortune and glory when one night while I sleep I hear a noise in the bushes.  I discover a fatally wounded Dwarf who had apparently been on his way to a Wizards tower to seek aid in finding a legendary Dwarf hammer inside the Forest of Doom!  He claimed he needed it to save his people and a party had set out to find it but was accosted on the way and killed.  He gives me what gold he has (30 pieces) and a map before begging that I seek the Wizards aid and complete his quest to save his people.  Deciding this could be a lucrative prospect I feel obliged to take up the mantle of the fallen and pursue his quest as my own.

The next day I gather my things and make my way following the map to the Wizards tower on the southern edge of the forest.  The tower is set back in the woods some ways of the path but I finally find a large beautiful wooden tower that blends in with the trees.  I ring the bell and after waiting some time an eye slot opens in the odor and an old voice asks my business here.  I tell him of my quest and he accepts my reasoning inviting me in to browse his wares.  Money is money after all.  I am given the option to attack the old man, but I feel there isn’t any sense in starting the book off as a criminal rather than a hero.  I follow him up the tower stairs to a room filled with books, potions and weapons/armors all around.  He explains that while he is a skilled enchanter that his enchantments are only good for one use which is why his items are priced so cheaply, which I find to indeed be the case.  I purchase a Fire Capsule, nose Filters, Rope of Climbing, Ring of Light, Boots of Leaping, Holy water, Potion of Plant Control, Potion of Insect Control and two vials Poison Antidote.  Making small talk as a I shop he tells me the myth behind the hammer I seek and give me the information that the hammer was separated into two pieces, the bronze hammer head and the ebony stone handle and taken by goblins.

Having prepared myself as best I can and retaining 5 gold pieces for myself I leave and make my way into the darkness of the forest.  The canopy is thick and blocks most of the light so while I can see I constantly find myself stumbling over knotted tree roots.  I reach my first point of choice an east/west junction and (as in almost all my adventures) I choose to go west towards where the sun will set as that should give me the most traveling time.  I pass a northward path and continue west until the bath itself curves north.  I heard that way but not long after the turn I hear to the west a man in pain and investigate.  A man is stuck in an animal trap and together we force it open to free him.  He thanks me an explains that he and his brother were in the forest but got separated and he stepped in this trap.  He thanks me graciously for my assistance, I offer to let him travel with me but he states that he knows the way out of the forest south and is sure that his brother will meet him there so takes his leave.  Not long after I discover that I’ve been pickpocketed.  I could have lost a magic item if I hadn’t chosen to keep that pittance of gold which is now missing.  Good choice on my part.
I head north again and shortly thereafter come upon a small goblinoid creature sitting on a log tossing a black (almost ebony) stick in the air.  The luck seems to be with me and I approach hailing him.  However, as I near the glamour falls away and the small creature changes shape into a much larger human sized lizard man with sharp teeth who attacks me.  He puts up a good fight but I best him eventually.  Sadly, the stick was also an illusion and I will not be rewarded for my efforts so I continue north.  I pass an eastward path, an old beautiful carved wooden chair and eventually enter a small clearing where I am charged by a wild boar.  I kill the beast easily and examine the carcass to find a gold nose ring that I take as its worth roughly 10 gold.  I hear hunting horns and expecting that I might upset some hunters or perhaps animal owners I leave north again.  I reach an east/west junction again and head west as is my habit where I find a small hut of wood and mud.  Inside is an extremely brawny man who is friendly and quite proud of his muscles.  He challenges me to an arm wrestling match if I’d like to wager.  Given my exceptional skill this game I accept and put up the gold nose ring against a vial of Dust of Levitation from him.  It takes a bit but I do best him.  Dejected but a man of his word he gives me my prize and wishes me a good journey.  I leave back to the main path and head north.

Werewolf, 3rd one.  Sometimes these old arts are, well... interesting.
Eventually I reach a riverbank.  To my let are stairs that lead down the side of a waterfall and to the right where the water is calmer there is a boat tied up to a small jetty.  I choose to walk rather then trust a boat and end up plummeting over the falls and so follow the stairs.  At the bottom, the path leads behind the falls where I find a stone table and chair but nothing else of interest until a fish man comes out of the water and attacks me with a trident.  A fish is no challenge for me and I slay him easily and leave north again out of behind the waterfall and back up to the other side of the river.  Upon reaching the other side the sun has nearly set and I decide to camp for the night.  I’m awakened later to the sounds of snuffling and movement.  I prepare myself for anything and I receive into my sight a werewolf.  He puts up an admirable fight but I eventually dispatch him as I plan to do all creatures who bar my way.

The path leads into a gorge where after some time as the walls reach higher on the sides I become nervous and rightly so as I fall into a pit trap lined with wooden spikes.  I manage luckily avoid the spikes but it is still a long fall and I’m bruised though not skewered.  With no rope and no prospect of climbing the smooth sides I use my Boots of Leaping and escape the trap.  I’ve no desire to meet who put the trap there so I continue on my way.  Near the end of the gorge I find a sword jutting out of a stone.  I give a few hefty tugs and the sword slides free.  Though not magical it is of exceptional craftsmanship and easily bests my old sword (+2 to my Skill) so I take it with me.  Finally, after some more northward travel out of the gorge and back into the forest proper I reach yet another east/west junction atop a hill.  Ahead of me is more forest but from my vantage I can see the Dwarf village on the other side of those trees.  I feel that this is an ideal time to take a break.

To Be Continued…