Part 3! Surely, nothing else can go wrong!
Yeah, if I was a character in a movie, that statement right there would be ‘tempting fate’.
There is a suitably dystopian scene around me – fires are burning everywhere, the ‘bodies of [my] townspeople litter the streets’ and I am calmly informed that, literally, ‘the gutters run with blood’.
There’s gonna be good news soon, right?
Umm – I’m then informed that the Orcs, who are wandering the streets, are bearing an emblem of ‘a woman’s head cut off at the neck’. Just to really rub it in, the book makes sure to specifically mention that these Orcs like nothing more than ‘looting, despoiling and pillaging’.
There is no way these Orcs know the proper dictionary definition of ‘despoiling’.
In between all this flavour description, I evade the mobs of enemies and make it to the town square. I then observe a MASSIVE infodump. Even though this is literally my first attempt on this book (in 2016) I’m going to already have to resort to bullet points :
- In the centre of the ‘Square of the Season’ is my trusty ally Gwyneth, or to give the book’s full flowery description “swordswoman par excellence and High Priestess at the Temple to Dama, Swordmistress of the Gods.” What happened to ‘Shieldmaiden of the Gods’. No-one knows.
- She is surrounded by 200 of her soldiers, along with the remnants of a citizen militia led by the Demagogue, along with (sigh) Greystaff, High Priest of Avatar.
- As Gwyneth calls for silence, I make my sudden appearance, as I fancy I hear ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra’ swell in the background.
- There is a ‘resounding cheer’ and Gwyneth lets me know that the mercenaries, led by Antocidas the One-Eyed still hold their barracks. I briefly muse about how I used to be ‘Avenger the One-Eyed’ until, you know, five minutes ago.
- Naturally, the priest of Time have been no help whatsoever.
- The enemy forces are concentrated around the royal Palace, led by Shadazar, a Dark Elf.
- Greystaff, doing something useful for a change, lays his hands on me and restores my Endurance to 20.
Aside : This last point is another argument in favour of the book’s intention being to continue your stats from the end of Overlord!, rather than automatically restoring them to 20 at the start of this book.
I can march straight down the Avenue of Seasons, or go through a (not yet fallen) part of the city and try to unite with Antocidas. I always consider that linking forces is usually a good strategy, so I choose the latter.
Pockets of soldiers and citizens join me en route and by the time I sight Antocidas’ forces, I have around a thousand followers.
Aside : Antocidas’ banner is awesome in its bluntness – a golden sword and bulging money-bag. I guess a dollar sign would have been too subtle.
Antocidas has defended his barracks well, but it is now surrounded by a force that outnumbers both his and my soldiers combined. The enemy army is comprised of Orcs, led by a company of Dark Elves. As my soldiers charge, I can either join them in the vanguard, or hang back and watch, presumably also checking out the newspaper and e-mails.
I was elected to lead, not read!
The attack takes the enemy by surprise, and the Orcs are not prepared for a new foe. The Dark Elves, however, are ‘made of sterner stuff’ and rally their minions.
And on that cliffhanger, until next time!
Stats: Endurance : 20, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 1