As I sail (or, more accurately, magically row) towards the Fangs of Nadir, I reflect on the dual facts that :
- I am, hopefully, extremely close to my goal.
- I have ONE Endurance point left.
With my luck, I’ll probably stub my toe on a rock and die ignominiously half a dozen meters from the Orb and Sceptre.
Delightfully, a significant storm now builds up and my boat is overturned as I plunge into the raging sea. I guess one boat-owning fisherman will be making a comprehensive insurance claim in the morning.
Meanwhile I’m washed up on a sandy beach. I open my eyes, expecting to see either Robinson Crusoe or the charming schoolboys from Lord of the Flies. Finding myself alone, I check my (sodden) map, and conclude that I am on the west side of the Forest of Fables.
I could theoretically go cross-country, bypass the Fangs of Nadir and end up on the south shore of the Elemental Sea. Of course, the down side of this cunning plan is that I’ll then be trying to reach an island without, you know, a boat or even a surfboard.
At any rate, the day’s not getting any younger so I commence my journey north-east through the forest.
After a period of uneventful travel, I spy a unicorn, because of course I do. I can either attempt to leap onto the unicorn’s back (!) or leave it be.
I’ve always considered that leaping uninvited onto a strange back is generally not a good move (don’t ask), and I exercise restraint. Shortly after the unicorn canters off into the forest, several Wood-Elves emerge from the trees.
The leader identifies himself as Galanwiel (because that’s not similiar to Galadriel AT ALL), and I am impressed that my ‘heightened sense of woodcraft’ was not able to detect that these guys have apparently been following me for some time.
I am getting a little worried, as the book tells me that I have to admit to Galanwiel that I am not an Elf-friend, and that I also do not possess a ring given to me by someone named Paladin from Haven of Tor.
Presumably speaking quite nervously, I then tell my story, and ask for help. In what may be considered a fairly rude response, I am told by the elves that the ‘affairs of men’ are not their concern, and I will need to do a good sales-job to justify their assistance.
I can :
- Offer the Elf-Lord all the gold and gems in my possession;
- Say that a Devil-Beast is guarding the Orb and Sceptre and that I will slay it;
- Propose that Galanwiel and his brethren will always be welcome in Irsmuncast.
Mercenary motives tend to only work with villains, so the first choice is out. I think it unlikely that these Wood-Elves will have any reason to travel to the big city, so an open invite to my home probably won’t help either. I seem to (vaguely) remember that Devil-Beasts are evil twisted versions of elves, sort of like how Twilight fans are evil twisted versions of teen-agers. Choice #2 it is!
Galanwiel confirms that Devil-Beasts are ‘foul spawn of the Dark Elves’ and indulges in some flattery by noting that I am a mortal of ‘great courage and resource’. The clear implication regarding my bewitching good looks remains unsaid, but I know what they’re all thinking.
In any event, this undertaking seems to have done the trick as they lead me to a bunch of enchanted elvan boats, which apparently respond to spoken commands. Wish my Honda worked like that. Whether saying ‘Take me to Vegas’ will work on these boats is a project for a later date.
In a slightly hair-raising moment, I am told that with one of these boats I ‘should’ be able to survive ‘even’ the Fangs of Nadir.
I come towards the narrow strait known as the Fangs of Nadir. I see with growing trepidation that the rocky headlands on either side of the strait clash together repeatedly, like a demented, water-logged mini-golf hole. As I make my (presumably) well-timed passage through the gap, I need to decide whether to go left or right, in a completely hint-less random choice.
Well, being left-handed gives me a natural inclination in that direction so, in the absence of further advice, I go that way.
After a few hair-raising moments my little boat makes it through. However, I see that between me and the small island which is my goal there are geysers and spouts of water, caused by Water Elementals.
And don’t forget there’s a friendly Kraken just hanging out underwater too…
Stats : Endurance : 1, Punch Modifier : +1, Kick Modifier: +2, Throw Modifier : -1, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 3
Anti-Awesome names : Galanwiel? Really??