The Cloud Castle – Page 104


Perilous Jack leaps over the pit containing the Captain of the Lorikeet Guard – suffering a highly imaginative barrage of verbal abuse on the way – and continues down the corridor.

A moment later he encounters a third pit, from which emerge the sounds of a creature in great pain. Cautiously, he peeks over the edge of the pit.

At the bottom of the pit, lying prone on a metal grate, is an Illithid dressed in the purple robes of a wizard. As before, Jack thinks to spy movement in the darkness below the pit, as if something shifted there, impatient to taste of the Illithid’s flesh. Perhaps it has sampled the captive’s blood already, Jack thinks – for the Illithid is badly wounded. There are ragged tears in its flesh that look like they may be the work of the heavy iron claws of a Psi-Mech, perhaps the one he saw being restrained in the entrance to the castle basement. The creature groans and glowers at Jack, as if to challenge him to try his luck.

Jack fingers his weapon, considering. The wizards are the most dangerous of the Illithid castes, as they have not only spent decades honing their psionic weaponry to the point that the least of them can wither the psyche of an ordinary man and turn him into a willing slave, but they wield powerful combat magic as well. It seems rank folly to fail to take advantage of this creature’s weakness and put an end to one more Illithid Wizard’s cruelty and tyranny.

Yet the same hesitation that forestalled him twice before assails him again. He cannot shake the impression that there is something about his situation that he is missing, and the pressure upon his mind has only grown.

If you think Perilous Jack should attempt to slay the Illithid, turn to 137.

If you think he should leave the wounded monster behind and continue into the next chamber, turn to 50.