[9] Caverns of the Snow Witch

Year: 1984
Author: Ian Livingstone
Illustrator: Gary Ward & Edward Crosby
Cover Illustrator: Les Edwards
Map: No
ISBN: 0140318305

[Note: A short version of Caverns of the Snow Witch was first published in Warlock magazine (1984). This new and expanded adventure takes you beyond the Crystal Caves and into the most terrifying adventure of them all!]

"Deep within the Crystal Caves of Icefinger Mountains, the dreaded Snow Witch is plotting to bring on a new ice age. A brave trapper dies in your arms and lays the burden of his mission on your shoulders. But time is running out - will YOU take the challenge?"

In this story, you are hired to seek out and kill a Yeti who is disrupting the trade routes in northern
Allansia. Yeah, I know it doesn't sound too exciting, but after you kill the Yeti (in about the fifth passage), you meet a half dead trapper who tells you about the Snow Witch and her riches. This,
of course, stimulates your interest and you're off to kill the chilly pest.

What's interesting about this story is that it is actually separated into three different quests. The
first part of the story involves finding the Snow Witch's domain, collecting several important articles
(which are listed in the solution, and not here for those who haven't read the book), and killing the
evil sorceress. But watch out...those teeth aren't for opening cans (oops, I gave it away).

The second part of the story deals with escaping the Snow Witch's lair with your two new friends,
Redswift and Stubb. Since you can't go out the way you came in due to enraged guards (which is a shame since it was fairly easy), you have to go out the back door. The three of you run afoul of all sorts of goons and traps, and you even run into the spirit of the Snow Witch herself.  I hope you brought your discs.

The third part of the story is the most challenging. You discover that the three of you have been afflicted by a Death Spell that you ran across on the way out of the Snow Witch's lair. Redswift
informs you of this after dropping off Stubb in Stonebridge (who I assume dies soon after you part
company from him). Then Redswift himself keels over; and if you didn't drink that Dark Elf's potion, you're history too (what Dark Elf, you say? You might as well start over). After travelling a great distance in a VERY weak state of mind (make sure you have a high STAMINA in this book), you find the Healer, the mysterious mountain man who can cure the Death Spell.  Unfortunately, you have to pass a few tests and have some specific items from the Snow Witch's cavern to have a chance.  If you were lucky enough to pick up all the correct objects, you'll be healed at dawn and fit as a fiddle.

This is an excellent book, due in combination to its unique story line and its relative difficulty (for one of the earlier books in the series). Your STAMINA really will be very low by the end of this
adventure, so roll a high initial SKILL and be smart in whom you choose to fight during the adventure. If you succeed, the feeling of accomplishment is well-deserved.

Rating: 9.0/10
<Jeff Poteralski>

Location: Allansia
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