Suddenly,as my surroundings dissolve around me, I now stand before the Gateway to the Seven Heavens, while a Guardian Angel fulfils the self-evident obligations of his title, and cherubs flit this way and that.
Aside : Seven Heavens? Are they ranked? Do they compete for customer feedback as it relates to the end-of-year rankings? Do they film commercials talking about how their cherubim have cleaner wings and sweeter songs than their rivals? I wonder about these things while listening to boring opposing barristers.
The Guardian Angel basically sends everyone who isn’t dead back to the real world, which I guess means that we’re getting kicked out of the Matrix.
I awaken on a hillside overlooking the scene of victory from Book 5, where Honoric’s army fled from my troops. The text doesn’t specify, but it appears from the following paragraphs that I am no longer with my companions, including Glaivas and Dore. I hope they turn up, otherwise this WHOLE MISSION has been a complete and utter waste of time.
In any event, there’s not much to look at here now, except for trench graves for the dead. Not even a poppy field.
I pause to remember a famous line from a famous movie before moving on.
In a “what are the freaking odds?” moment, I spy Honoric, who has obviously fallen on hard times. He’s, alone, dressed in rags, and is now a beggar. He’s eating mushrooms (!) and I have to choose whether to :
- Challenge him to combat;
- Garotte him from behind
- Engage him in conversation;
- Ignore him and move on.
Part of my creed as a Ninja of the Way of the Tiger and a Grandmaster of the Five Winds is that there is nothing I fear more than the failure of a mission. I am therefore compelled by my code to finish Honoric off. I had no compunction about dropping poison down a string into his sleeping mouth, so I’ve got no moral problem with killing him from behind.
I go for the killing strangulation, but, unsurprisingly, he does sense me coming and raises a sword (but not Sorcerak, his MEGA-sword) in an attempt to finally finish our rivalry in a way fatal to me.
He needs a 9 or more to hit me. His 7 is sadly inadequate, so my garotte does its work.
Yes, Honoric is dead (again!). Its not specifically stated, but I hope that Avenger stabs him in the heart and buries him face-down just to be sure.
I travel towards Irsmuncast for a day and a night (restoring 4 Endurance), before reaching the city, having now changed into the clothes of a commoner. The gates are guarded by six halvorcs, supervised by two shieldmaidens of Dama.
Interestingly, I’m given the option of announcing my arrival openly, or of slipping through the gates anonymously.
The fact that this is even an option is a clear signal that something is wrong. Particularly given the halvorc nature of the guards, I elect to break out the ninja skills and sneak in.
I slice my forehead (a move reminiscent of professional wrestling) in order to conceal my emerald eye before strolling unobtrusively through the gates.
As I saunter through the city, little seems unusual, save for the lack of a city guard patrol. Rather than going immediately to the palace, I elect to take a detour to the Temple of Kwon, ostensibly to give thanks for my safe deliverance from the Rift.
I arrive, and let’s just say I’ve got a funny feeling that things are not going to proceed according to plan.
Stats : Endurance : 17, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 4