IFReviewed by Matthew Clark on 2006-05-14 10:43
MAIN PGM Version: Modified 7
Extra Commands: None
Deleted Commands: None
Special Features: Entry restricted to prevent super character cheating
Playing Time: 50 minutes
Reviewer Rating: 7.5
Description: "As you sit in the Adventurer's Lounge at the Main Hall, a small Blue Pixy flies over to ask for your help. It tells you a sad tale of a Barony's downfall.
The Valley of Cold Iron was once a peaceful and prosperous Barony under the Honorable Baron Randal, but then the evil Baron Kellum attacked the Barony with a band of mercenaries. The Mercenaries, acting on orders from Baron Kellum and coordinated by an experienced Mercenary Captain, killed Baron Randal and many of his followers, and tried to take the Valley of Cold Iron for their own. They could not, however, win the cooperation of the Elven Queen by force, nor could any amount of violence directed against the workers of the Valley cause the old Cold Iron Mine to produce its famous anti-magic ore.
Now all those who live in the Valley, and the Elven Queen in particular are poor and hungry and in great need of a Hero to rescue them from the evil Baron Kellum. The Hero who destroys the evil Baron, saves the starving Elven Queen, and restores the Heir of Randal (rumored to be imprisoned in a cell beneath the Castle) must have many qualifications. The Hero must be strong and brave (of course) and know at least a little magic. He must be kind to the poor and willing to listen to them, respectful of the Elves, and must also be able to swim.
Comment: Another new adventure by another new author. I'm glad to see that there is still some interest left in Eamon after all of these years.
The Pixy Oak was written several years ago by Bruce Haylock. He only recently found it on a backup disk. He rescued it, cleaned and polished it up quite a bit, and produced a very nice Eamon adventure, especially for a first time writer.
The goals of your quest are laid out pretty well in the intro. If you try to leave the adventure, you will get rewarded or punished according to your accomplishments. After some tweaking, I believe this feature works rather well at letting you know exactly what you need to do during the adventure before you leave.
The adventure also restricts you from bringing in a super character or a weak character as an attempt to play balance the game. Overall, I found it to be much more puzzle oriented than combat oriented, so this isn't really an issue. The puzzles are not too hard and can be easily solved with some common sense. I'd put difficulty at around a 4 or so.
The map was laid out pretty well. There are some interesting tricks involved to get at the castle with the evil Baron including some fun playing (and drowning) in the moat of the castle. The forest is a bit tricky to navigate at times, but I usually don't map adventures as I'm playing them. (Conan didn't draw a map either!)
Overall, this is a great effort and a welcome addition to the Eamon world. I look forward to more adventures from Bruce!
Used with Matthew Clark's kind permition.
Original review available at Eamon Adventurer's Guild Online website.