Well, the cliffhanger was a bit of a bust, because one of my eagle-eyed followers noted that the ‘final paragraph’ was in fact one which showed that Lone Wolf had survived.
The problem was that I wanted to check on survival before ending my previous entry, and foolishly placed the resulting paragraph into my post!
So, those vicious Warhounds must have been Spirit Tigers in disguise, because one of them attacks the sniper, causing no arrow to reach me (and for the other Warhounds to join in a general feeding frenzy).
Captain D’Val, in an act of true bravery, charges alone from the barricade, with a shield and longbow. He reaches me and looses a series of arrow at the Warhounds, before slinging me over his shoulder (!!) and carrying me back to the barricade.
A small gap is opened for us to enter and we reach the realm of temporary safety before D’Val collapses from exhaustion.
Aside : Every time I read D’Val’s name, I keep having to remind himself that he isn’t a bronze dragonrider from the Dragonriders of Pern series, what with the honorific contraction and all.
One soldier breaks the arrow in my leg, while the other pulls (!!!) the arrow from my wound.
Aside : If you are ever in a situation like this, pulling out the arrow is ABSOLUTELY the wrong thing to do, as this page tells you.
In any event, on this fantasy world, my wound is bandaged for the mere loss of 4 Endurance, because ‘the wound is clean and the bleeding is slight’).
The point is….
After we are both carried inside the besieged tower, D’Val makes a wry (but justified) comment about hoping the King would send a larger rescue party. We then attempt to one-up each other in flattery, as I thank him for the rescue, while he mentions that my bravery is ‘legend’ and that I am worth a ‘hundred men’.
We catch each other up with our stories, presumably over a brandy. Barraka, the warlord who has seized control of the area, commands most of the so-called ‘bandits’ as was responsible for ambushing both of our respective rescue missions. The bulk of Ruanon’s citizens make up the slaves in the mines through which I have travelled.
The local Baron, Oren Vanalund, has previously managed to reach this safe area, but he is now half-mad, whimpering on the stone floor of a make-shift cell. D’Val quietly mentions that the Baron’s castle and lands have been destroyed, his sons are now dead and that Barraka has taken his daughter, Princess Lei- *ahem* ,Madelon, prisoner.
Project Aon link – Ruins of Ruanon
The Baron feebly mutters the following rhyming couplet, over and over again :
“When a fair royal maid on the altar dies,
The dead of Maakengorge shall rise.”
Gee, mate if you were going to repeat the same sentence over and over again, couldn’t it be something more stylish like this?
Just a minute!
That Scroll that I got from the creepy faux-prophet in Part 1 of this adventure!
Recognising the chance for an Oscar clip (TM) I unfurl my own Scroll and read the remainder of the ominous rhyme, as the Baron stumbles to his feet and recites the rhyme word-for-word.
For those that don’t actually recall it word for word :
“When the full moon shines o’er the temple deep,
A sacrifice will stir from sleep
The legions of a long forgotten lord.
When a fair royal maid on the altar dies,
The dead of Maakengorge shall rise
To claim their long-awaited reward.”
Luckily, I now get the director’s commentary for this lyric, as the Baron, in a miraculous (?) return to sanity, explains that :
- Barraka has the Baron’s daughter Madelon;
- He (Barraka) has also obtained the ‘Dagger of Vashna’;
- When King Ulnar I (centuries ago) killed Vashna, the supreme Darklord, in single combat, Vashna’s body (along with all his soldiers and followers) was thrown into the bottomless Maakengorge.
- Barraka intends to use the Dagger of Vashna to sacrifice Madelon on the altar of Madden, which will apparently (!) resurrect Vashna and his army to wreak havoc over Sommerlund.
D’Val, who previously gave no credence to the Baron’s ravings, is now convinced that the story is true because…..I have a scroll with the same rhyme??
Aside : Simply having two copies of a horoscope doesn’t make it more likely to be a true prophecy, but anyway.
Before I can reflect too much, a horn is sounded, and D’Val strides to a window before noting that the bandits are again attacking.
Before rushing out to battle, I am able to return D’Val’s Sword to him, and he thanks me, returning same to its empty scabbard.
No word as to whether I’m able to get another substitute weapon in case there’s a problem with my MEGASWORD.
Base Stats : CS : 17, E : 20, GC 38
Modified Stats : CS : 29, E : 22
Weapons : Sommerswerd (+8 CS),
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 : 327