“You have in your possession a sword and a shield together with a rucksack containing provisions (food and drink) for the trip. You have been preparing for your quest by training yourself in swordplay and exercising vigorously to buildup your stamina.”
The very mountain is menacing – it seems to have been savaged by the claws of a massive beast. Not an actual volcano, the top of the mountain is covered in strange red vegetation that gives it its name.
This is the setting of the first of the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone – The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. I got a copy of this book some time in 1982 and fell in love with the rich detailed illustrations of Russ Nicholson throughout and the mix of RPG game elements into a choose your own adventure book.
Through dozens of playthroughs, I only actually finished the adventure once – I even have an instinctive routing through the dungeons following the right-hand path to the bridge over the river – but I have thoroughly explored the passages and rooms leading up to that river. It was on the other side of the underground river that my adventures routinely went wrong.
Last month, I finally sat down with the old tattered book and gave it another run – this time marking every choice, every room, and every passage. It took me a day to complete this map of the southern half of the dungeons – everything up to the underground river.
Now I just need to map the chambers on the other side, and the maze between them and the warlock himself…
The maps on Dyson’s Dodecahedron are released for free personal use thanks to the support of awesome patrons like you over on Patreon. Every month 400 patrons come together to make these releases possible. You can help too in order to keep the flow of maps coming and to improve their quality – and even get a map of your own!