Written by Jonathan Green, artwork by Martin McKenna.
I never actually played this adventure as a kid, mostly because mummy men are't really my type. No, really, it's a sore spot that definitely needs some bandaging. Nah, I'm not going to look a gift Horus in the mouth here... Okay, enough bad puns.
I had the chance to get this book in a shop when I was a kid, but chose Revenge of the Vampire instead, because at the time I didn't know that Revenge was as awful as it would be.
The only additional stat to take care of is poison. If it hits 18, you die. Simple enough. Must admit, by this point in the franchise we're all a bit tired of the more complicated, unnecessary additional stats, so a simple one like this is a breeze. We begin the adventure by washing up ashore from a shipwreck, which only goes to support my belief that undertaking ANY journey by water in one of these books is always, always doomed to horrible failure.
No sooner have I taken the job, than a group of said cultists attack. Together we fight off the group, causing one to flee. I give chase, but he escapes when he sets a nearby giant black lion on me.Pausing for a moment to consider the health and safety ramifications of any merchant town that lets people carry around giant killer lions in easily-unlockable boxes that any villainous cultist could open and unleash on poor hapless adventurers.... Okay, done.
We head out into the desert, and make camp for the night, during which we are attacked by giant scorpions and the archaeologist is killed. This is the usual fate for any companions you make in Fighting Fantasy adventures. In some parts of Titan, they call you 'doombringer'.
Stumbling around in the desert, I find an old ruined amphitheater where I meet a crazy old man who is convinced that he's an actor. He has a few items that he's willing to trade, no doubt for items that I could have picked up in the market earlier if I'd stuck around to do so, and no doubt very important key items for the plot. But without any, all I can do is wave him goodbye.
It isn't long before I find the shaman's hut, which is on top of a very nasty cliff. I attempt to climb said cliff, and only wind up in falling off the side of it, breaking a few ribs and bones along the way. Fortunately I survive, although I'm in some very bad shape.
I'm also slightly poisoned by this point, because I indulged in my habit of eating random plants I found lying on the ground. Oh well. I chew down on some provisions and decide to head onwards anyway, without any real clue which direction to travel in.
That night, I'm attacked by a nandibear, a creature I've not seen in quite a few FF books, and it manages to deal quite a bit of damage to me before I kill it. I find a cultist's ring in its cave, and shortly thereafter I find an explorer's journal in another cave, this time belonging to a giant lizard which I've also killed. Y'know, I really should have kept a list of how many things I've murdered during all of these books, it must number in the thousands by now.
But without any way to decipher the map, I've no idea where to start looking for the entrance to the tomb. So my adventure ends here. I suspect I'd have fared better had I got a few items from the market, traded them with the actor, and actually managed to speak with the shaman, who I expect was meant to tell me how to use the map. That's just my guess, though. It's a fair ending, for a first playthrough.
The structure of this book is nicely different from the usual 'go kill the evil wizard' type, instead giving you more the feeling that you're exploring a new region of Titan with a new history to it. In short, it's a first-rate book, clear to see why it earned a wizard reprint, and I'd have much preferred it instead of Revenge of the Vampire.
As I'm sure people noticed, I didn't get a chance to upload a blog post last week. All I can say is that I'm very sorry. Sometimes I wish real life was less complicated. I'm currently in Leeds, where I will remain until the end of this month. Following which, I'm heading back to Portsmouth, where I will be seeking new employment. I have decided that this relocation simply isn't working out and, although Leeds is a nice enough city, it'll never truly be a 'home' to me. But because of this, upcoming playthroughs may be more sporadic than I'd hope. Please accept my apologies for this.
Anyway, the hardest part of the collecting is now behind me. With the help of many of my readers, I've been able to pick up almost the entire series, with only ten or so still outstanding. Look forward to those in the next few months. I'll see you then, folks!