“The Warlock himself was a sorcerer of great power. Some described him as old, others as young. Some said his power came from an enchanted deck of cards, others from the silky black gloves that he wore.”
Once you have crossed the underground river (across the rickety bridge, by boat, or swimming in piranha and crocodile infested waters), the areas under Firetop Mountain feel… different. Where the earlier portions contained many guards, once you get past the immediate structures around the beach, the dungeons become winding, confusing, and home to wandering patrols. Many secret doors here are one-way affairs and dead-ends often have teleport traps instead of secret passages…
It is thus a great relief to stumble into the final caves, only to discover that before you even face the Warlock in order to get to his treasure, you must deal with a fierce dragon that lairs in the cavern.
Through dozens of playings of the Warlock of Firetop Mountain, I only got through the maze a few times before giving up (often because I was playing it at school during a break). You could navigate the rest of the book without a map, but if you failed to map this section, you were effectively wandering blind – doubly so if you made the mistake of triggering one of the teleportation traps.
So last month I finally sat down and navigated every bend, dead-end, secret door, nook, and cranny of the maze. In my head the maze was small – maybe 1/4 the size it appears here. But getting the corridors to fit together well ended up stretching them out significantly until the north side map was nearly as big as the (much more densely populated) south side.
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