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1. Team 2 of Series 7
From TES issue 57 (May 2009)

Series 7
Quest: The Sword.
 [Related Image] Dungeoneer: Nicola II.
Advisors: Diane, Lisa and Vicky.
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Home town: Oldham.
Team score: 6 out of 10.

Nicola and her Lancashire lasses were quite engaging and did quite well, so now it’s finally time for them to get the recognition they deserve. Lisa certainly wins the prize for the best ever item of advisor clothing – a white t-shirt with a big pink hippo on it!

Level One: The quest begins in a dark dwarf tunnel, where Nicola has terrible problems as she attempts to pluck a bag of gold off the wall in front of her. This item is required to pay off Sylvester Hands, who is in the middle of robbing Romahna in the subsequent courtyard. Hands is only too pleased to make a quick exit in exchange for the gold, although Romahna is as shirty and ungrateful as usual; all Nicola gets in return for rescuing the dragon wardress is a short escort to the clue room. Here she picks up a glow-light and a wand – the Wand of Confusion, according to the scroll – before making use of a spyglass. The team sees Lord Fear and Lissard discussing the shortcomings of the Pool of Veracity, before the Brollachan turns up and does his usual moaning act.
 [Related Image] In the next room, Nicola meets Sidriss and a giant cat. Sidriss explains that her feline companion is actually Marta, whom she has accidentally transmogrified during an argument. In return for her wand, Sidriss gives Nicola a firestone. She also attempts to transform Marta back to normal, but only succeeds in turning her into a black labrador. Another maze of dark dwarf tunnels, which is made slightly less dark by means of the glow-light, leads to the final chamber of the level. Unexpectedly, Raptor runs into the room with Grippa and Rhark, and Nicola is promised a quick and decisive death. However, the large metal door opens and Smirkenorff promptly sees Raptor off by launching a fireball at his backside! (This is a very fun scene, but it’s completely pointless in the context of the quest itself.) Smirkenorff accepts the firestone as payment for Nicola’s flight to level two, and flies her to the Rift of Angar.
 [Related Image] Level Two: Hordriss and Grimaldine are thoughtlessly blocking the way into the second level by throwing fireballs at each other across the path. (Treguard explains that they are taking part in a Wizards’ Test Match.) The team has to time Nicola’s dash to the door, which doesn’t present any major problems. However, it seems that Hordriss does have some major problems, as he runs after Nicola and accosts her in the next room, looking distinctly green. The reason for Hordriss’s predicament is obvious – he’s been hit by a green fireball, which Grimaldine has sneakily unleashed in an attempt to win the Test Match. Hordriss charges Nicola with finding a health potion to return him to normal, and tells her that she should call him once she gets hold of one.
 [Related Image] The level two clue room soon follows, and unfortunately it is here that the fatal mistake is made. The girls work out to take a divining rod from the table, acting on the advice of the scroll, but they are left with the choice of a purse of silver and a nightsight potion, with no clues to choose between them. Sadly but not unreasonably, seeing as they know they are probably going to have to buy Hordriss’s potion, they decide to take the silver. In the next room [pictured], the divining rod is used to discover a spyglass, through which the team sees Lord Fear telling Lissard the combination to the Trial by Spikes. It is the first appearance of the deadly puzzle, yet the girls manage to handle it with no real difficulty. On the Trial By Spikes, they are able to pick up a bar of gold. (This does not say anything good about the choice they made back in the clue room, which is a sad fact of which the team and the watchers are well aware by now.)
 [Related Image] Nicola goes on to meet Rothberry, who (after a very funny exchange) sells her a health potion for Hordriss in exchange for the gold. Nicola calls Malefact three times and Hordriss arrives, still looking rather green about the gills… and everywhere else, for that matter. Once he has taken the potion, he returns to full health and rewards Nicola with a key that will allow her to access the Descender, which he says will take her to level three. However, she doesn’t get that far. The next chamber is enshrouded in darkness, and without the nightsight, there is nothing the team can do to rectify this state of affairs. As goblin horns blare out and troll steps echo ominously, Lord Fear himself delivers a message: ”Two-nil, I think. Nice one!” – Lord Fear. This is not really a very satisfying death at all!

Summary: Just short of a level three performance – they could have done with a scroll clue to take that nightsight, really. Interestingly enough, this was the only death in series 7 not to occur on either Play Your Cards Right or the Trial by Spikes.

[Previous team: Team 1 of Series 7
Next team: Team 3 of Series 7]

Provided By: Eyeshield, 2009-06-25 09:06:00
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