Why do I anticipate bad luck here?
The trip to Surinagal itself wasn't as bad as I had feared. It wasn't as long as I had thought, nor were the monsters as deadly. There was a lot of desert, and it might have been easier to get lost than I realized, but fortunately, that didn't happen.
Since Surinagal is in the desert, there are very few people there. The good news is that they're very nice. Especially the one guy who runs all the shops except for the Inn. It's cool that he's doing all that in a place with so little business.
Turns out the bad luck I was worried about before comes in trying to get to the next maze we need to get through. The folks in Surinagal tell us that we need to get through some place called the Lost Forest to get to Elfrea, and we need an elf guide to help us do that. As luck would have it, there's a ranger station just northwest of the entrance to the Lost Forest where we can get just such a guide. By the expected twist, our guide is Jerrin, who's half Elf, and also our final party member.
Now, all that might sound like good luck, and it is. The bad luck is that the monsters round about here can really start kicking the crap out of the party. I died several times and had to start at the last save. Fortunately, Surinagal isn't that far away, distancewise.
Once I managed to finally get to the ranger station alive and relatively well, the guy there tells the party that there's only one person who can help us, and it's Jerrin, because she's half elf and just happened to have the brains to head us off when we left Belgen. The hero and Aguro realize their only option is to let Jerrin join the party. Lufia objects because she's possessive of the hero. Her reasoning for not wanting Jerrin to join is simply “because”. The hero says she's just jealous. My take on that sort of thing is that if Lufia's that worried about losing the hero to another woman just because the other woman is there, she never really had the hero to begin with. But I guess we all know how the game is going to end anyway. The hero and Lufia are destined to be together.
The route through the forest is easy enough. East, then south, then west, then south again. And the fights themselves are not particularly difficult, either.
On the other side of the Lost Forest is another ranger station. We can rest up here, too, which is a good thing. The Archers that have shown up in this part of the game can really kick some serious ass, as they can use Hi Arrows, which target all the members of the party and do a considerable amount of damage. That's part of why I'm getting killed so much here.
East of the second ranger station is a shrine with a tunnel in the basement. This tunnel leads to another shrine on the first of the islands that surround Elfrea. The good news is that we're finally closing in on the place. The bad news is that the challenge level of the game has taken a serious spike here. Not that I mind, necessarily. I do like my games a bit on the challenging side. What I don't like is when it spikes on me like this. I think it does straighten itself out again here shortly, but I don't quite remember.
But since the game was murdering me on the way to the next town, called Jenoba, I had to look in my inventory to see if I had an item called Sweet Water, because it drops the encounter rate to zero, or very nearly so, for a limited amount of time, and I was getting tired of having to repeat the same section of the game over and over again. Fortunately, I did have a few, so I used one.
As a few of you might remember from either last issue or the one before that, I said I thought there would be some backtracking coming up soon, but maybe not. Now that I see how things are going again, I sort of remember how this might go. I know we're going to have to climb three towers a time or two each and put jewels in altars at the tops of those towers. I think one of them might be a ruby that we need from the mine back at Medan, even though that mine's supposed to be played out.
And I think the trip there might also involve getting a ship, either of the sailing or the air variety, soon, too. This will be in part thanks to finally getting close to that Professor Shaia guy we learned about way back in Lorbinea.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. That's for next time, in Three Towers Part A.