Down we rode from the hills into the intense heat of the plain around Urtuun, a vast town and fortress garrisoned by the Twelfth Imperial Maruvian Legion. These troops are mainly cavalry and savage too - their nickname is the Ravaging Whirlwind.
Here I hoped for news on the fate of the Ogre, for the Axe Brothers who rode to save it with Moranna of Yel promised to send a pigeon when they had rearranged Uginnuk and his fellow trolls. Blessed be Ithukk! The Brother Steward at the Hall of the Axe told me he had a letter. "It is good news and bad, though, Gordo" says he.
When I read the paper I thought my heart would break. Why should I deserve such ill luck? Should any man suffer such a loss? True, the Ogre was safe and the trolls destroyed or fled. But - my hand trembles to write it - my strongbox was missing! Nothing could console my thoughts of a poverty-stricken old age or compensate for the loss of my six magic swords, two flying carpets, the five ruby eyes of Amildar the Blind God - at least, he was after I visited his shrine.
|Gordo's strongbox has been rifled. He stops for solace and picks up a few tasty tips|
We put up with my friend Hutrik the Hammonite in his tavern, The Crazed Camelherder. I quickly retired to the tap-room to drown my sorrows in talk and ale. Fennel the Ferretter of Gwent had begun his journey through the time zones of Mordon's Quest but had been pulled up short by a cannibal pygmy who refused to let him pass without savouring long pig. Revived by a hogshead of ale I told him that this minor obstruction could be disposed of by the creation of a suitable weapon from the items he should already have gathered. The anthropophage can then be blown away with a thorn in his flesh.
"But what of the carnivorous plant then, Your Immensity?" rejoined the Ferretter. Well, the native's small body will provide a tasty though gruesome snack for the plant. An economical use of resources.
The usual large group bemoaned their failures when Bored of the Rings but Ringbearer Lilley of Belfast boasted that he had completed the quest and offered help to those who write courier prepaid to him. Make sure you ask him about a particular problem.
The others had not been so successful. Both Monledge the Wedge of Ikeston and Four Minute Miles of Dorset could not escape the strange hordes who dwell in the Great Hall beyond the Maze of Morona. A careful search of the eastern areas at the end of the maze may produce the image of a brawny hero. If given to the denizens of the Hall it should ensure free passage.
Four Minute Miles was able to offer others help with Avialon and Dragontorc - except for Camulod where he cannot enter.
Fresh from some action in The Hobbit's Middle Earth Davyd Orcslayer and Guy Dragonsbane of Halifax told me they had slain the dragon Smaug but had no clue where to go from there. At this Torca Moonsetter of Plymouth piped up with some aid. "When Smaug is slain, get the treasure and go south three times. Then go down and south twice again. Take care for a wrong step here means death."
Torca gave me many maps - for which my greatest thanks - and will offer cluesheets for 50 silver pence. He knows many quests so you should write prepaid to him for further information.
The Mighty Isvarg of Orton Goldhay drew a circle of topers about him to tell them news of Fairlight. He claimed to have completed the tasks and spoke thus: "To begin you should all take the scroll upon the ground. Kill the surrounding guards, take their helmets and drop them into the whirlwinds close by. Then go to the chequered room where the Reaper is and jump on the altar. Walk to the right and push away the panel to take a cross. Both this and the scroll should be put into a safe place. If you have the three plants they can be used to get the timers from the carnivorous plants."
More than this he knew but told us that this was enough to see you on your way through the first part of the quest. No amount of bribes would bring more forth.
Mad Mat, Abbot of Alkborough, had newly arrived from space and bore a message for those spacemen trapped in Marsport. He told the company that the first key to M Central may be found in the Director's room on Alba level. To get there you should take the uptube in the D sector of Farr level. In return Mad Mat wished to know where he might find the anvil to destroy the crowns in Dragontorc. If he has the H seal and has found a flagstone at the Sanctuary he can use that to move the flagstone. After reading the message which appears he must drop everything except the seal and go through the door. The spiders therein can be killed with the touch of the seal. If he has SLOW, RETURN and MANTLE spells he can then use RETURN to enter Halgar's tomb room. There is a key with a message there.
One spaceman, Guz Beerbelly - a solid name by all the gods! - from British Aerospace found problems closer to earth on Espionage Island. What could he do with the truck at the mine? A rock needs moving there so, if he has his rope handy, he can tie it to the rock, then to the truck and thus remove the obstruction by driving it off.
Wallace the Mighty, no wally he, had heard of Paul of Polesworth's way to raise cash in Dun Darach and knows what to do with the money. "Get 10,000 Iridi and buy a thieves' licence from the thieves' guild in Silver Street. Using that the pearl can be stolen from the strongroom." Wallace will help those who write to him at Dundee, Scotland - remember to affix the postage for the return letter. In return let him know how Nilsen can be proved to be Stenberg in the Fourth Protocol.
So to bed to make plans for the recovery of my treasure - perhaps Iubba the Thief may prove useful in this endeavour. Anyway, farewell til next moon, friends.
|Gordo Greatbelly, Landlord|
|If you have a tale to tell, or are in need of a helping hand, write to the Landlord of the Dancing Ogre c/o Sinclair User, London.|