I get an interestingly detailed description of the Dark Elves’ lieutenant, a ‘magnificently accoutred’ woman with waist-length ‘raven tresses’. Sounds like Avenger is in real danger of being distracted from the task at hand!
I can either order Gwyneth to charge the Orcs in an attempt at scattering them, or hurl a Shuriken at the ‘magnificent’ officer and then charge the Dark Elves.
Getting them off balance by taking out the commander before the charge appears sensible, so that’s the way I go. The book gives me the option of using Inner Force when I hurl the Shuriken. I only have 1 point left, but I get the feeling this assault will be crucial, so I expend the last of my spiritual reserves.
The Dark Elf commander blocks the Shuriken with her ‘blacksteel’ sword, but my Inner Force causes the Shuriken to literally shatter the sword.
If Avenger had a microphone, this is the moment he’d drop it and saunter off stage.
The Orcs suffer a massive morale loss, as the sword was apparently their talisman. If only they’d had a banner with a money-bag on it, things might have turned out differently…
Gwyneth takes out the (now unarmed) commander, and this portion of the enemy forces turn and flee. Antocidas emerges from the barracks, and pledges his service, as our troops can now combine. We march on the palace, making plans for redecoration that include the severed heads of a number of Dark Elves.
We are initially successful, in that the enemy troops retreat before us, and my forces mass in the Palace Gardens, avoiding the temptation to comment on the failed attempts by the Dark Elves to raise a patch of lilies.
We see Shadazar, the supreme commander of the Dark Elves, standing at the top of a Palace Tower, about to commence some kind of magical attack.
Aside : You know how I’ve complained a couple of times about how Avenger couldn’t possibly know who a particular enemy was, even though the book assumed said knowledge? The authors must have used a time machine to take my comments on board, because here the text specifically notes that I recognise this person as Shadazar from her picture in the Tome of Maledictions in the Palace library. Well played, Warbringer!
There is a query as to whether I wish to use a Potion collected from a Vulcan Imp, but I do the ninja equivalent of shrugging my shoulders in bafflement. Meanwhile 5 Cave Trolls emerge from the Palace doors, no doubt with mischief on their minds.
I can either join the battle with the Trolls, or attempt to slip by them into the Palace. Reminding myself that being brave is preferable to being foolhardy, I focus on my attempt to cut off the proverbial head of the snake. Unfortunately, as I sneak past, I see that Shadazar has called down magical lightning which has taken its toll on the soldiers and shieldmaidens. I have to make a Fate roll!
Fate smiles shyly down at me!
One of the lightning bolt causes a horse to rear, causing a disruption which helps me sneak into the palace. In a nice bit of descriptive text, its noted that the only people who might stop me are Orcs who are not at their best due to their discovery of the Palace wine cellar.
That’s fine, but if they sneak into the hard liquor storage, things are going to get ugly (Well, since they’re Orcs – uglier).
I reach the top of the staircase, and find myself in the position of being behind Shadazar, who is apparently unaware of my presence.
I have a number of different options here, which makes for a very interesting tactical decision.
Which will be made in the next instalment.
Stats: Endurance : 20, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 0
Awesome names : Tome of Maledictions is delightfully ominous.