Sunday, November 29, 2009

An excerpt from Tales of the Arabian Nights

While asleep at my home in Baghdad, I have a dream of fabulous riches my deceased father left me and a vision of a long-lost relative in ... Tana, India. I set off on a quest to speak with him about it, using my skills of Scholarship, Seduction, and Enduring Hardship.

Early in my quest, I meet The Barber, an extraordinarily talkative fellow. I pray for deliverance from his chatter, but because I am not pious enough, he only hears my prayer and vows to accompany me on my quest to instruct me in the ways of Allah. I become Grief Stricken, so I can't use any of my skills.

Next on my journey I meet a women whom I question. As she pauses on the side of the road, I decide she has taken far longer than necessary to do her business and sneak up to find out what is going on. I discover that she is really a ghoul and is telling her children about how she is going to feed me to them. Aack! I try to sneak away, but her voice lures me back (since my Scholarship skill is inactive thanks to being Grief Stricken). Fortunately, I am saved by some passing soldiers who chase them off, but her voice remains in my head and I am ... Ensorcelled.

Finally arriving in Tana, I attempt to hire a mad enchantress who takes affront at my manner. She orders be to bow down and worship her. Having already demonstrated my lack of piety, I do so. She is pleased with my obeisance, rewarding me handsomely: I now have respectable wealth and gain the fabled Carnellian Idol. At any time, I can rub the idol to gain a skill or increase a skill to master level, but then I will become insane for one turn. I keep the idol with me.

I also meet my relative who tells me that my dreams of riches are true. He describes some of my father's ways and that he definitely kept his wealth ... back in Baghdad. Home again, home again...

More of the amazing story below the fold...
My ensorcellment carries me over the waves where I encounter a malicious merman beating a beggar. Afraid of taking him on by myself, I follow him to his home, then gather an armed mob to enact justice.

Stopping at a nearby island for supplies, I try to hire a mad wizard who conjures his skeletal warriors to attack me. I am Wounded in the battle, so couldn't use my Seduction even if it weren't shut down by my Grief, but manage to overcome my Ensorcellment, so I am free to move myself again.

I sail quickly to Mecca, where I assist a friend who is trying to move his house and belongings. While moving a mirror, I discover that my hand passes through the mirror! I rub my Carnellian Idol to give myself Master Scholarship which I can use despite my Grief. My new-found knowledge enables me to realize that this mirror must actually be a portal to another place. I enter to find myself in ...

The Sepulcher of Solomon! Twelve faithful Djinn [wait a second! Islamic Djinn? Djinn are Efreet, demons! It's like saying there are Buddhist Leprechauns or Born again Uruk-hai! This does not make sense. Can someone enlighten me?] Anyway, twelve faithful Djinn had carried the body of Solomon away to a magical sepulchre, setting him upon a throne to await the Resurrection. Even though my rational mind told me that the djinn would certainly be guarding him, my temporary insanity forced me to try to steal Solomon's ring. The djinn, no surprise, appeared, attacked me, wounding me again, and flung me back into the sea.

I swim to shore and finally make my way to Baghdad where I am tasked with hiring some holy men to pronounce a blessing on a nearby wedding. They are unimpressed with my by now fabled lack of piety, declaring that I must be purified. I attend their meetings, dance, and whirl, but my Grief prevents me from Enduring the Hardship. I tire quickly and gain no enlightenment. They tell me I must go on a pilgrimage, but I gain Wisdom.

I visit my home in Baghdad before setting off on my pilgrimage, where I discover that my dreams were true! I find my father's wealth, making me a Rich man. I also find a fabulous treasure, the mystic Brass Bow, said to be part of ending the enchantment of the Magnetic Mountain. I am now Fated.

That night, I have a new vision where I behold the most beautiful woman. I describe her to my friends, but none has heard of her. My new quest is to explore the world until I find my love.

My story would have continued, but we decided that it was time to get ready for bed and it was time to put away Tales of the Arabian Nights for the night. It's a very fun game my brother got for his birthday. We've played it now with him and his wife about half a dozen times. It takes about 4 hours to complete the game for 3-4 people, so it's a lengthy bugger. With over 2002 encounters you might have, no two Tales are likely to be the same. Quite engaging and very different.

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