The Cloud Castle – Page 58


With the Fire Skeleton defeated, Perilous Jack slips through the Portal, and into the next chamber.

Here he encounters numerous Fire Skeletons, but he finds that by staying just within the entrance of the Red Pipe, he can force his enemies to come at him one at a time. Soon the Fire Skeletons are defeated, and he is free to explore the chamber.

There are four Green Pipes in this room. Only one contains an exit Portal; the others are packed full of human bones, thousands of them in a terrific jumble. The bones are coated with a red slime that radiates heat, and Jack realizes that these Pipes must be the source of the Fire Skeletons. Even as he watches, the bones begin to slide toward one another, drawn together by the magic slime, slowly assembling themselves into new Fire Skeletons. He cannot linger unless he wishes to remain permanently embroiled in combat.

He makes another discovery – a warrior of the Lorikeet Guard! Her name is Hadia, and Jack finds her huddled in the corner, keeping herself small so the Fire Skeletons won’t notice her.

When he draws the woman to her feet, Hadia embraces him fiercely.

“Have you seen the Giant?” asks Jack. “Do you know where he is?”

“I didn’t see him, but I heard him speaking. You’ve been to the Spike Room – you saw the Green Pipe in the ceiling?”

Jack nods. “It’s capped somehow, by a magical barrier. I’ll have to find a key of some kind.”

Hadia nods. “I overheard the Giant speaking to the Ogre Mage who serves him. He said the Beholder had the key!”

“A Beholder? Here?” Jack frowns, remembering the Illithids and Beholders he saw cooperating in the Perilous Realm of the Nightcrystal. First Psi-Mechs, indicative of Illithid activity – and now a Beholder as well! His vision in the Realm of the Nightcrystal was true!

Jack nods decisively. “Thank you, Hadia. If I encounter the Beholder, I’ll be sure to locate the key.”

He gives her a weapon from his pouch and sends her back through the Warp Portal with careful instructions concerning the way out of the Castle.

The room contains many treasure chests, from which Jack gathers a considerable bounty of Gold Coins, Silver Coins, gems, potions, and a true oddity – a Claw Bracer decorated with yellow tourmalines and gold wire. Lightning bolts are engraved into the gilded steel, suggesting the weapon may have some magical properties. Jack adds these treasures to his pouch quickly – for the Fire Skeletons are gathering!

Add 400 Gold, 1000 Silver, 7 Rubies, 2 Potions of Healing, and the Claw Bracer to the Pouch of Ghrul, and remove a spare weapon. If he has Giant’s Bane or Storm Fist, he’ll need it to face the Giant – so don’t give it away!

Make sure to check off the rescued Lorikeet’s name on the list in Jack’s Journal. Add the following: There is a Beholder in the castle who may have the key to the forcefield covering the Green Pipe in the Spike Room.

If you think Jack should investigate the second Warp Portal in this room, turn to 20.

If he hasn’t already, Jack can return to the Spike Room and investigate the Red Pipe guarded by the Dragon Man. Turn to 71.