Alright, after our previous cliffhanger, things get seriously weird.
Well, on a sliding scale based on the events of these books, I suppose I would rather say that things get moderately weird.
As I cower bravely at the bottom of the empty wagon, I spy the enslaved workers trudging past, subject to the demands of the (literal) slave-drivers.
Suddenly the wagon in which I’ve decided to skulk gets pushed along the tunnel (!) and a ‘sweat-streaked’ face pokes over the top of and tells me to ‘run left’ when he says “Go!”
Aside : Is this some kind of fever dream? Some random bystander pushes a seemingly empty wagon down the tunnel, while whispering instructions to the ’empty’ wagon? No-one in the slave train notices or comments?
In any event, the wagon gets wheeled into the sunshine of the open air (yay!) and I can see that all the wagons are being shunted onto a gantry where the track ends above a pile of ore.
Aside #2 : This (to some degree) obviates my queries about the plausibility of this situation. It seems that ALL of the wagons were conveeeeniently (at this exact time) being wheeled out of the mine. Still a little skeptical about the set-up.
My strategic question now is whether, following the muttered command to ‘Go!”, to stay where I am, take the voice’s advice and run to the left, or to be contrary and run to the right.
Well… if this nameless guy didn’t have my best interests at heart, he would have simply tattled on my location to the guards, so I guess its a reasonable assumption that he has good intentions towards me.
I dash to the left. After no immediate outcry, I sprint towards some nearby trees, seemingly unnoticed by the enemy.
I give ‘silent thanks’ to my anonymous helper, and begin craftily moving through the woods.
I don’t know if he qualified as an ‘ally’, since that would automatically mark him for death.
I manage to evade the roving bandits in the woods, and eventually reach the edge of the woods, gratefully spying the town of Ruanon across an open plain.
There is both good and bad news, and I note the following :
- Most of the town has been burned to the ground.
- There is, however, a rough perimeter which still holds firm against the bandits.
- Over the centre of town flies the Sommlending flag being, specifically, the crest of the King’s Guard regiment. (I’m not making another Jaime Lannister joke).
Just as I start thinking I might be about to safely reach some more (expendable) allies, I note three bandits attempting to creep up on me, with their weapons coated with what my Hunting skill enables me to detect is a deadly poison.
Realising that any combat would be foolish, I sprint towards the barricade with all my speed.
Its time to recycle an old favourite :
Then, juuuust as I start to get confident, I note that the arrows are starting to fall around me. Unlike Rickon, I realise that when people are shooting arrows at you, it is ACTUALLY A GOOD IDEA TO DODGE AND WEAVE.
Learning this time not to be overconfident, I am ready for the next obstacle, which turns out to be a pack of Warhouds who spring from the woods and pursue me.
I can continue to run, or turn and fight.
I’m still 500 yards away from the perimeter, and there’s no way I’ll outpace these predators, so I draw my MEGASWORD and prepare for battle!
I manage to take out two Warhounds with one blow, before the one-on-one combat with the survivor.
Lone Wolf : CS : 29, E : 26
Vasssagonian Warhound : CS : 17, E : 25
I am feeling nervous about the fact that if I can’t win within 3 rounds there will be an unknown consequence…
Round 1 : I lose 2 Endurance, the Warhound loses 11
Round 2 : Victory!
I defeat the Warhound and note that a group of archers are showing a particular interest in aiming their arrows AT. MY. HEAD., and therefore keep running.
200 yards to go.
An arrow pierces my leg (no R10 check, just an inevitable (!) part of the story) and I collapse briefly to the ground.
An archer aims his arrow at me and, if my memory is right, he has a 1 in 10 chance of ending my mission RIGHT. HERE.
Base Stats : CS : 17, E : 20, GC 38
Modified Stats : CS : 29, E : 26
Weapons : Sommerswerd (+8 CS), Captain D’Val’s Sword
Backpack : 1 Meal, Laumspur potion (+4E), Holy Water, Brass Key, Tinderbox, 1 Torch, Shovel (2 slots).
Special Items : Map, Crystal Star, Shield (+2 CS), Sommerswerd, Padded Waistcoat (+2 E), Chainmail Waistcoat (+4 E) Blue Stone Triangle Pendant, Diamond, Ornate Silver Key, Scroll with Verse (para 84 of tCoD)
Kai Rank : Journeyman
Kai Disciplines : Camouflage, Animal Kinship, Tracking, Hunting, Sixth Sense, Healing, Mind Over Matter, Mindblast (+2CS)
Final Paragraph : 300