It’s a trap;
I was ambushed by some amazons; fireball, mind blocking trinket, shield amulet, fireball and fireball sorted them out… one of them dropped some nice leather armour that allows me to sell a ring of protection and wear my anti-fire ring again. I returned to the carnival to sell their gear/ recharge the fireball necklace and agreed to escort a ranger so he can rescue a mage… I’m ready for the ambush this time! After selling the excess and razing the ranger the gnolls themselves proved little hindrance and the mage is safe from whatever sordid fate was installed… I did consider keeping her but she obviously likes her men to be “less of a challenge” so I put up my shield amulet again and recovered the charisma tome.
Shield, web and fireballs tidied up the bandit camp outskirts and the mind blocking amulet | shield combo gave me the edge inside for my seventh level… the two improved invisibility allowed me to walk past the horrors guarding Durlag's Tower to collect the wisdom tome.
p.s, I am tempted to hire some minions next but we’ll see.
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