"After tonight we're half of what we started with." --Paladin PatrickYup. Time flies when you're saving the kingdom.
When we last left our heroes, they were hiding from the spy orb! Sir Ansgar warns that the person (warlock) controlling it must be very close. Crio arrives to hide with the group, then they split, some with Ansgar and some with Crio, to find who is controlling the orb. The Grand Vizier spots the culprit! And he is tackled. But the minion is holding a fire orb! Everyone panics.
Sir Ansgar disarms the orb. Whew! The hooded figure is...someone Ansgar knows, but isn't telling us about yet. Turns out that there are seven missing detonators. The paladins search their rooms for the missing orbs--seven orbs and seven paladins. Hmm...but they don't find anything.
Sunrise! The guards found three fire orbs overnight, but four are still missing. It's challenge time, which involves falconry! Magic falconry! Finally, a cool, unique challenge! The paladins use magic masks to see through the eyes of the falcon to aid in the search for the missing orbs.
Andrew books it to the battle dome with Lina hot on his heels. Shondo heads to the moat, followed by Patrick and Leticia. Bonnie sees the doors the siege challenge took place at and heads there. Adria is patient and waits for the last location. Lina finds the battle dome orb. Then Bonnie gets one, w00t! Though it's one that Leticia overlooked, much to her chagrin. Adria misses the orb, and she was the only one at that location. Shondo finds one, also w00t! Patrick tears apart the obstacle Adria had been standing on earlier and he finds the orb she missed. Andrew, Leticia, Adria are in the bottom. Lina earns her second mark.
The group heads to the dungeon to interrogate the traitor, who looks just like Grima Wormtongue.
Dark magic. Not even once.
Sir Ansgar is pissed! The prisoner threatens that the darkness is coming for the paladins. Patrick loots his pack and finds maps. The paladins return to their common room to put the map pieces together like a puzzle. They realize that it's incomplete, and is possibly part of two different maps.
"Awoo, I'm a lone wolf, baby." --Paladin ShondoThe paladins arrive at the Fates to find that the Fates have completed the map, and in a Raiders of the Ark challenge they have to align swords to form a beam of light to reveal the spot Verlox is going to attack.
Andrew is convinced he's going home. Earlier he revealed that he has ADHD, and he's concerned that the hero can't be someone who isn't focused. During the course of the challenge Andrew overcomes his fear, takes his time, and wins! Though I like Leticia and Adria more, I was proud of his accomplishment.
It's a damn tough choice between Adria and Leticia. They're both strong competitors, and it's a close vote, but Leticia gets 3 to Adria's 2. I was sad to see Adria go, but I think Leticia will continue to do well.
Back at the castle, the peasants are peasanting and the guards are guarding. Sir Ansgar brings drinks to the paladins and hangs out. They ask him about his love life. He had a wife once, who was pregnant and died in childbirth. The rugged commander with an angsty emotional past appeals to my inner romance novelist like WHOA DAMN!
Yes, Sir Ansgar. Please tell me more about your broken heart.
Leticia asks how he knows the traitor (who is named Herra, apparently). Ansgar and Herra were soldiers together and saved each other's lives on the battlefield. Sir Ansgar hasn't seen him in years. The paladins toast to Ansgar. Then there is an explosion! Fire! Verlox is there! Sh!t just got real!
Next time, they flee into the forest, and there is camp!
Robyn's Random Thoughts
- OMG you guys, I am so excited for camp! Camp is the time for adventurers to hang out and share backstories, so I'm hoping we get more of Sir Ansgar's angst and perhaps some quality Grand Vizier time. Maybe another Bonnie the Bard ballad.
- Two non-strength-related challenges! YES. So good. More please!
- What the heck is Herra suffering from that Wormtongueified him? I assume he didn't always look that way. Unless he's a half-orc. Did he poison the queen? He didn't directly confess, and hinted that there are more conspirators in the castle.
- Related, other than being "the darkness", what is up with Verlox? Why does he want to take over? What is he offering to make people join Team Evil? One of my author pet peeves is villains who are evil just for the hell of it. A good villain has a compelling motivation. So what's his?