Hit Squad Issue 40 Contents Adventure

Adventure Helpline

The Dancing Ogre

Greetings one and all from balmy Samarrak, whose market is renowned for its magical wares and weaponry. The woes I recounted to you in my last missive have been soothed by a letter from the Lady Marion.

"Be ye not desolate," says she. "Know that scrolls sent to he known as the Grand Elf were scribed in the distant past, long ere you were my favour." My old heart quickens at this news. Mayhap you will encounter the lady within the webs of Micronet, as she dispenses Scrolls of Wisdom.

This market then - as Zul, Zel and I strolled through the booths we met many travelling merchants who had passed by the Ogre over the years.

From Zignash, a reformed orc and member of the Guild of Ectoplasmists, I purchased the bottled spirit of Firedemon. I am confident the imp will prove useful. From Majari, a shifty southern crook with an eyepatch, I acquired two ounces of Black Lotus - enough he said to render an entire army amnesiac and unconscious.

Besides these I bought loaded dice - a man must make a living - salves and balms, a new ring mail hauberk, a bronze cap topped with a silver boar and a spiked mace. This has the power to return to the bearer when thrown or dropped. A few tests proved the efficacy of this wondrous club, though I was forced to recompense a group of eastern nomads for the loss of two camels.

Gordo purchases some magical wares and drops clues in the wine stalls

Many bemused adventurers thronged the wine stalls. Sir Lee the Knightley, Pip of Hipwell and the Lady Carol de Whitham have long tried to prove the innocence of the drugged Major, one of Sherlock's suspects.

Once you have revealed yourselves to this old soldier in his opium den, there are but two short minutes in which to save him from Lestrade's bullets. Be swift - tell the Inspector simply that the Major has visited the den. The key is 'Visit'. Opium he may eat, lead he need not.

Another task for the detective is to solve certain codes found on sundry scraps of paper. Hardiman Harding of Brighton and Jugman Johnson of Sunderland pressed me for the answer. This is not so simple - the torn note and the ripped note are both parts of the same message and have the same code.

Consult your great tome - such as the venerable Britannica - for articles on cryptology. In them you may find frequency tables which show the letters used most often in the English tongue. Count the letters in the message to find the most frequent - this should be 'E'. One of the three-letter words is 'THE'. From here, you can begin to build up the message, by guesses and sheer hard work.

Lastly the singed note; care is needed as it is the reply to the others and, curses, is writ backwards! Reverse it and begin your decoding in the same way.

Master Hipwell claims full success in Mountains of Ket, Temple of Vran, Urban Upstart and Snowball. Write to him - courier prepaid - at Leicestershire.

Clive the Parson of St. Columb seeks the Eye of Bain but cannot pass the dreadful creature in the well. Once he has his ruby he should read the inscription thereon. This will tell him what can harm the beast - one of the elements.

This element is contained within the gem itself and he must descend into the depths and simply SAY the name of the element. In the same quest Mantle of Sheffield cannot get rid of the chain: find a rock and strike it off. Thus 'tis done.

Huntsman Hunt of Barrow and the fair Allson of Wirral sat in argument over the shapechanging at The Witches Cauldron. One wished to become an ape. Take the eyes of a sheep, a diamond which makes music, a snail which lives with mice, and Moonshine - the liquid kind and not Our Lady's beams.

Climb a bench, crush the snail-shell in a pestle and then stir this horrid brew in the cauldron. Drink and ye shall become an ape.

Fair Alison could not change at all. For your first turn, turn about three times and say pussycat backwards - then you may begin the quest. Those who become apes may climb a cupboard and find a key. Southerly doors will open then.

Toiler Thompson of Gloucestershire knows many secrets of Tir Na Nog but cannot reach Dhub Sgorr or Snathad. Share help with him if you will as he knows Middle Earth well.

Sharing a cup with the Lady Sheila of Cambridge she confided to me a number of troubles. First the ogre beyond the pool in the Mountain of Ket. Try as she might she could not get him to dice with her. I suggested that she might need to read the Goblin Gazette before so doing as this ogre is publicity conscious.

To hell had she been too, even to the Inferno. She could not get round three-headed Cerberus. If she digs close to him she may find something to throw.

Master Adventurer Walters of Knotty Green came by with hints in the quest of Dragon Torc. On the first level search for a bow and trade this for a sickle with an elf. Cutting herbs with this will gain an ENERGISE spell.

Also, under a slab there lies a jewel. Trade it likewise for a message which, taken to yet another slab, will reveal the second level: the Lost Vaults - do you not shudder? Those who wish to escape this level must find the letters EXIT - subtlety here! - and arrange them on top of the E to reveal yet another layer.

Dolsig of I know not where and Stanley of Bromsgrove wandered by. I heard them groaning over Valkyrie 17 and leapt to their aid. Having killed the evil Reichsmuller, Dolsig had no clue about his next steps. A taxi he must find. To take him where? Ah, he should have looked through a seafront telescope forward and back. A destination should become visible once that is done.

Stanley could find no cash to pay his hotel bill - I know the type. Pawn some valuables in the town but remember you cannot go by cablecar. Skis are the thing. See amid the winter's snow ...

So farewell again my friends. To Urtutin I must now go, ever southward and ever onward. There I hope to hear of the Ogre's fate and my hope for comfort in my age. 'Til next moon. Ride and prosper.

Gordo Greatbelly, Landlord
If you have a tale to tell, or are in need of a helping hand, write to the Landlord of the Dancing Ogre c/o Sinclair User, London.

Hit Squad Issue 40 Contents Adventure

Sinclair User
July 1985