Well, as many of you will know, Hawthorn came third in the match yesterday. What makes that particularly galling is the knowledge that there were only two teams playing.
Back to Lone Wolf!
When we left our titular hero, he was using the credibility of his green cloak to see if he could get some help from members of the King’s Guard. Upon hearing my (Lone Wolf’s) story (and on then making absolutely no attempt whatsoever to verify it) they offer to immediately convey me to the nation’s Prince, who is apparently nearby.
Seriously, between the monastery having no early warning system at all, and the ‘elite’ King’s Guard taking any lunatic in a green cloak with a halfway plausible story straight to the nation’s Prince, I think its even money that this kingdom will be overrun by three bandits with a pet dog, never mind the Darklords.
Anyway, I am conveyed to where the Prince is in a pitched battle at a disputed bridge, getting the worse of it in a one-on-one battle with a fearsome Gourgaz. (As the linked picture will show, a Gourgaz is basically a giant, mean lizard with quasi-hands).
Just as I arrive, Prince Pelethar is wounded by a black arrow, and I alone stand (literally) between him and certain death.
As fans will know, this is one of the more iconic images (and fights) of the early books. I scoff at the option of fleeing, and settle in for a barney!
Gourgaz : Combat Skill : 20, Endurance ; (gulp!) 30
My trusty Project Aon battle calculator (aka StatsKeeper) doesn’t let me down! The Gourgaz lies dead at my feet, although my Endurance is now a mere 5.
The Prince decides that my supposed ‘life-saving’ effort is really just a ‘life-very-slightly-prolonging’ effort as he promptly dies in my arms. He does charge me with relaying to his father that :
- They cannot hold the enemy at this bridge (yeah, sort of figured that).
- I must seek ‘that which is in Durenor’ or all is lost.
- He does actually give me his horse, which is a nice deathbed gesture.
I leave as the battle continues, with my countrymen attempting to repel another assault on the key bridge.
As I ride, the book directs me to eat a Meal. Normally, my Hunting skill would serve me well here, but I doubt that I’ll be able to catch, kill and prepare a meal from wild fauna while on horseback. I guess I’ll just nosh on one of the Meals in my backpack.
I reach a fork in the road, with an empty space where the signpost used to be.
My Tracking skill tells me that although the path on the left does indeed lead towards Holmgard, there are also tracks leading down the path that have been made by large wolves of the sort used by the enemy and often ridden by Giaks (I’m really starting to think that this series has basically predicted Game of Thrones, what with these wolves and the previously mentioned King’s Guard).
Despite the danger, there’s no point in taking the path which leads away from my destination. I therefore head left.
As I move down the road, I spy five large Direw…(*cough*) Doomwolves being ridden by Giaks. They are moving in the same direction as me (hence the tracks I noticed earlier) but I note that, for some reason one of the Giaks and his steed turn back and head towards me. I can fight him or hide. I think the noise of a fight would probably draw the attention of the other four, and my mission is to reach my destination alive, not kill every enemy I see.
I therefore use discretion and attempt to hide by the side of the road.
You may call me cowardly, but as the great Bret Maverick said, he who fights and runs away, lives to run away again another day.
The straggler continues on down the road without spotting me, and I elect to refrain from starting any ruckus with the remaining riders. Unfortunately, this means heading deeper into the woods….
Aside : Endurance restored to 11 due to paragraphs after the Gourgaz fight
Stats : CS : 17, E : 11, GC 26,
Weapons : Dagger, Sword
Backpack : Meal
Special Items : Map, Crystal Star
Final paragraph : 126