After the death by arrow of the enemy commander, Captain D’Val shows his mettle by rallying men to his side, and then forming a shielded wedge of troops which successfully penetrates the enemy flank.
See that sentence, and how it made it sound like I actually had an idea about combat strategy?
In real life, not so much.
Our charging troops manage to cause enough carnage to the enemy cavalry that they retreat, promptly trampling their own infantry (!!)
As we send our best wishes to the retreating enemy (along with a volley of arrows) the nerve of the infantry also collapses, and the retreat become a panicked rout.
Our war-cry of “For Sommerlund!” follows them from the battlefield.
Aside : You want the most blood-pumping fight song ever? Here you go :
Thank me later, when you play this just before your next sporting event.
Captain D’Val comes to me in the aftermath, generously stating that “We” have prevailed!
As the wounded and dead are tended to, I receive a Laumspur treatment, which restores 6 Endurance.
Then we get to the crux of the situation. While our armed forces have won a ‘temporary’ victory, in three days, when the moon is full, Barraka plans to sacrifice the Baron’s daughter at Maaken. If successful, this rite will unleash the ‘evil dead’, and transform the Maakengorge into [drum roll]
THE CHASM OF DOOM.
This must obviously be prevented at all costs.
Aside : I have a sneaking suspicion that initially Barraka was just angry at the Baron because he was sick of the Baron always getting named juuuuust ahead of him in every alphabetical roll-call. That can really sting after a while.
As everyone turns their expectant gazes towards me, I’m starting to get the feeling that its common ground among all my compadres that I’m the only one who can save the world (again!).
The ruined city of Maaken is 50 miles away, and the countryside over that distance is nominally enemy-held territory. Luckily, it is fair to consider that the bulk of the enemy army is in disorder and confusion after our recent difficulty. Still, this should be tough.
I do get a chance to replenish my supplies. I dump the Shovel, and take another Meal and some Rope. I also get a reserve weapon in case of MEGASWORD-related difficulties.
I embark solo. There is no mention of whether D’Val offers to accompany me, but it is safe to assume that he has done more than enough for one afternoon.
The direct highway south is still choked with enemy troops. They aren’t at their peak, what with being demoralised, injured and scared of me, but I don’t like the odds. The sneaky route through the forest appears my best bet.
There’s a simple left/right choice, and I go left, mainly because I’m left-handed.
As night covers my travel, I manage to evade the bulk of the soldiers. I then spy a small log cabin, with a single candle burning in the window.
A typical Dever-esque choice – do I want to check out the interesting thing?
Just as I enter the door, a Wounded Bandit decides to make himself a nuisance!
Lone Wolf – CS : 29, E : 26
Wounded Bandit – CS : 13, E : 16
Unsurprisingly, I cleave him in two without suffering a scratch in response.
I snaffle 3 Gold Crowns from the Bandit, and ponder the cabin. There is a trapdoor which leads to a cellar, but there is nothing else of interest.
Aside : This is one of the few places I clearly remember from this book. Going down to the cellar is a (in my opinion) completely unfair insta-death. Basically the trapdoor gets shut from above and you are trapped in the cellar long enough that the hands which eventually open the door are “bony and fleshless”.
So, long story short, I leave the hut without further incident.
And with that, I’m off to watch Melbourne City play in the final of the FFA Cup!
Base Stats : CS : 17, E : 20, GC 41
Modified Stats : CS : 29, E : 26
Weapons : Sommerswerd (+8 CS), Sword
Backpack : 2 Meals, Laumspur potion (+4E), Holy Water, Brass Key, Tinderbox, 1 Torch, Rope.
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 : 258