“I do not take orders from you.” Vizier, to Sir Ansgar.Careful there, Ansgar. Pretty sure the Vizier outranks you in the chain of command.
When last we left our heroes, the Queen had been damseled! I mean poisoned. Same thing, really… Anyway, Paladin Adria was suspicious of the Vizier, because he lacked the knowledge to cure the queen. The Vizier is suspicious of the paladins. Personally, I agree with him. One of them is far more likely to be a mole than the Vizier is to be the poisoner. Come on, people. He’s the magic user. He has high INT, high Wisdom. He wouldn’t poison someone while standing next to them. That’s a rookie villain mistake.
The paladins are given an enormous pile of scrolls to sort through to find the cure for the poison based on the queen’s symptoms. Much talking at once ensues. Bonnie speaks up and orders the others to give her the definite wrong scrolls, because Bonnie is awesome. They find the correct scroll and discover that the quest components are wolf hair, bat teeth, banshee blood and dragon tears.
My inner mmorpg gamer pictured the paladins being let loose in an area to hunt low-level mobs and forage for herbs. Crio leads them to the forest (EverQuest moment: TRAIN TO ZONE!) where they meet the Collector.
No, not that Collector. She's more like this:
"Bye-bye, boys!" "Have fun storming the castle!"
"Think it will work?" "It would take a miracle."
Apparently she is also referred to as “The Hag of Kirkwall” (at least I think it was Kirkwall, I may be influenced by Dragon Age II). (Though if it is Kirkwall, she’s probably Flemeth, in which case they all better RUN THE F*** AWAY NOW!) Oh, and hey Crio, here's a protip: Never refer to an elderly woman as a “hag”, especially one that can turn you into a newt.
The challenge involved opening a series of locked doors. Sadly, no one is specced in pick locks, so this is a problem. The first lock is covered in tar, the second lock needs to be opened by sawing through rope with an ogre’s tooth, the third door is stuck so the paladin needs to tunnel under it like a Labrador left unattended in your backyard, and the final door needs to be burst through like the Kool-aid man.
This is pretty much a typical Survivor-type test, and though the argument can be made that there shouldn’t be a strength advantage in this one the two tanks (Andrew and Patrick) barreled through it like, “I don’t have pick locks so I roll to smash the chest open instead.”
Bonnie, Jim and Christian are the bottom three. Christian dropped the key needed to open the tar lock, and at one point Bonnie offered to help Christian find his key if he helped unstick the tar on her lock. Because Bonnie is awesome. Christian however uses this opportunity to just pretend to help her instead of actually helping her. Because Christian is a prick.
Of this group, I think he is the most likely to be a mole working for Team Evil. (But it’d be awesome if Bonnie was, because the paladins would never see that one coming.) Christian spouted the oh-so-stereotypical “this is a competition” quote that I dreaded hearing. (BOOOOO! Dammit, The Quest! You had so much potential.) Followed by the assertion that, “I’m ready not to necessarily stab people in the back but I’m ready to cut some throats.” Like the old drow saying, “Those who watch their backs meet death from the front.” I hope he gets eaten by an ogre. Perhaps shat on by a dragon. Crushed beneath a rock hurled by a trebuchet.
Anyway, Andrew is victorious, and he is instructed by the Wise Woman (see what I did there, Crio?) on how to mix the potion. Success! Then the Wise Woman yells at them to run back to the castle, and everyone hightails it away. Bonnie comments that the word run is “like the devil’s word to me”. Because Bonnie is awesome, and I’m so there with her. If you see me running you better take off because the zombies are right behind me.
The Queen is cured, yay! The Vizier is front and center. He thanks Andrew in the name of the queen, and then uses his +5 Sleeves of Fabulousness to herd the paladins out of the room. The paladins hang out. The Shondo and Jim pep talk was so good that I want to hug Shondo. (He is my favorite of the guys.)
Later, Bonnie breaks into song and sings the ballad of Everealm. Because Bonnie is awesome, and now we know who the bard in the group is. She definitely has the charisma score and the dexterity covered, as we see in the elimination challenge. It’s an alchemy challenge—the paladins have to grind three ingredients into powder and use them to balance a scale. And w00t, Bonnie wins! (Also, in the chamber of the fates the ghostly images of the heroes who’ve been voted off are looking down on the paladins. It’s very Harry Potter, and kind of cool.)
Jim and Christian go up for the vote. This is the third time Christian has been up for the vote, and you’d think that would be a hint to give him the ax. Shondo gets it: “He’s facing his third possible banishment. That’s crazy.” Damn right it is. Andrew asks, “What can one of those two people instruct us and teach us to help us do better?”, summing up why I love this show. And Shondo argues for Jim’s mental prowess and his attention to detail (I totally want to hug Shondo even more for this).
But they saved Christian. Sigh. Shondo and Jasmine stood behind Jim, which I think proves that they have more sense than the suckers who picked Christian.
All is quiet in the castle. The paladins return to their barracks, and Shondo is very upset. As well he should be! Leticia and Jasmine realize that Christian played Bonnie during the door challenge. Jasmine explains that she thought Jim was the best hero. Leticia admits that she went with the group despite her feelings that Jim was the best choice. This will come back to bite them all in the butt.
Crio asks the paladins to do grunt work in the courtyard. I imagine them leveling in craft skills as they gain non-combat experience points. Suddenly, an alarm goes up that they’re under attack! Sir Ansgar shouts orders! There is a random shot of Medieval Times fighting happening in a ring as people look on, cheer and presumably eat food without utensils. What does it all mean? We’ll find out Thursday.
So what was your favorite moment, Quest fans?