‘Dom the Prescient’ doesn’t meet all of my expectations. He is a short, powerfully built man, who is clearly not a fighter. He has a robe of many colors (someone’s been listening to the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat while writing this) and a twinkle in his eye. I’m thinking Brian Blessed. (Look him up – he’s awesome)
He summarises my position well, while calling Honoric a ‘braggart’. He’s a lot of other things too, but I choose to hold my tongue for the moment.
He asks if I am aware that Mortavalon would join the fight against us if he was to be my ally. I can either guarantee victory if we fight together, or ask how he knows so much.
I don’t really like either option, to be honest. One smacks of over-confidence, while the other can be interpreted as showing a lack of trust. I elect to steer away from arrogance, and ask how he has this relevant knowledge.
He retreats to claims about mysticism, stating that Fate gives him glimpses of the future to enable him to better rule the city. Naturally, I ask about my future and, equally naturally, he doesn’t give up much information, apart from stating that only his support will mean that I rule Irsmuncast into next year. Another choice!
I can either say that Honoric’s ambitions will surely turn to his city next, if he is successful at defeating me, or simply beg him on the basis that it is my one chance (‘Help me, Dom the Prescient. You’re my only hope.)
I don’t think a simple plea to his better nature is necessarily the way to go – if it was that easy, he would have offered me assistance without this negotiation. I therefore mention the possibility of them being next in line for Honoric after Irsmuncast.
The book then, apropos of nothing, asks me to confirm that my gaping eye socket is now filled with the sparkling Orb.
Yes, it indeed is, and I’ll thank you not to stare!
In any event, there may have been some bewitching happening, because Dom agrees to stand by my side!
Oh wait, Dom himself won’t be standing anywhere near my side. He’ll rather be delegating the fighting to four Tools of Fate, along with 500 Cavalry and 4000 footsoldiers. Finally, he’s going to ask Whimsical the Theocrat, ruler of Fiendil to help out as well, as Whimsical (!) is in Dom’s debt.
As I return to Irsmuncast, my ‘step is light’ and my heart is ‘buoyed up with hope’. Upon my return, the news of my alliance is greeted favourably (as it damn well should be) and I order further scouting patrols to the east and west of the city, to detect any further trouble from invaders of the Rift. Interestingly, no mention is made of me rescinding the martial law edict put in place prior to my departure. Authoritarian rulership for the win!
In the days following, the promised troops arrive from the Spires of Foreshadowing, with a further 3,000 foot soldiers and 500 Cavalry from Fiendel. Apparently, now I and my city have a fighting chance.
In further developments, Glaivas turns up with 20 Rangers to help the cause. No mention is made of whether he asks for his 10 gold pieces back as handed over to me near the start of Avenger. Goodness knows what the interest would be up to by now.
200 Wood Elves also arrive, presumably due to my status as Elf-friend, and my absolute slaughter of the Devil-Beast in the previous book.
Glaivas also mentions reports of an army marching from the Rift to the north of the city, presumably either to attack or to join forces with Honoric’s army.
Aside : It would be seriously weird if they did join with Honoric’s army. Honoric (to use the old Dungeons and Dragons parlance) is pretty clearly Lawful Evil, while the orcs and other slime from the Rift are obviously Chaotic. You would think those two forces wouldn’t have a whole lot in common. We’ll see.
And as the palace fills with the sounds of preparation for war, I leave my loyal readership on tenterhooks!
Stats: Endurance : 20, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 4
Awesome names : Whimsical the Theocrat ? Still shaking my head over that one.