When we left our hero, he had dodged a pitched political debate in the comments section, only to find himself in a cavern with a teeming mass of anthromorphic rats, who were arguing over stolen / scavenged goods.
One particular Noodnic, wearing a ‘brightly coloured cloak of patchwork silks’ emerges from the general scrum to greet me.
I won’t reprint the doggerel of the conversation, but I am able to convince him / it that I am not one of the ‘Blackscreamerz’ (Helghast) and that I need to evade them in order to carry on.
Gashgiss offers to show me a a way past the Helghast, and, before I leave, a ‘pretty female Noodnic’ offers me enough food for two meals.
Call me weird, but I have no idea of the criteria with which Lone Wolf is able to call one two-foot rat ‘pretty’ as compared to the rest of her companions.
They guide me past the (evidently dangerous) area, and show me to a further path, advising me to take the left route. Just as I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, I am quietly advised that the Noodnics have stolen ALL my Gold Crowns!
To be fair, my life has been saved, and hopefully a massive amount of coin won’t be needed for the remainder of the adventure.
After a few miles (three, to be exact) I spot a barricade of wagons and similiar material, manned by Durenese soldiers. There are a number of excited spectators (civilians) behind the barricade, and I have no idea as to whether my appearance is a pleasant or dreaded surprise.
A troop of ten soldiers ride out to meet me. Since they bear the Durenese colours, I don’t think there’s a significant risk of them ALL being enemy collaborators. I therefore raise my arms and walk peacefully towards them (also because recklessly attacking ten armed soldiers seems stupid on a number of levels).
The lead knight asks my purpose in the Tarnalin. After explaining my mission and showing him the Seal of Hammerdal, he is an instant convert to my cause and orders the soldiers to allow me through the barricade and into a horse-drawn carriage.
My escort is Lord Axim, commander of the King’s bodyguard (use the word Musketeer, book, I double dare you). He was on his way to Port Bax when he and his soldiers encountered the Helghast. Conveeeeeniently, only he and 10 soldiers survived the battle.
Amazing how the named ‘noble’ characters are the only ones to survive these ambushes (RIP Rhygar). I have to eat a Meal en route, and I get a little nervous, because this means I only have five left in my trusty backpack.
I catch forty metaphorical winks before awakening as, on the fifteenth day of my quest, I watch the scenery while entering Hammerdal, capital of Durenor.
We finally arrive at the ‘King’s Tower’ within which I will, presumably meet the King of Durenor and, hopefully, take possession of the Sommerswerd for my triumphant return to Sommerlund.
What could possibly go wrong?
Stats : CS : 17, E : 20, GC 0
Weapons : Broadsword, Mace
Backpack : Meal (x5), Healing Potion (+3 E)
Special Items : Map, Crystal Star, Shield (+2 to CS), Seal of Hammerdal, Red Pass
Final paragraph :196