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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Guildpact - Chapter 16

Zomaj Hauc's on the attack! Go get'em!

Guildpact - Chapter 16

Applicants for the licensed title of ADVOKIST must demonstrate fluidity in a minimum of five modern languages and three ancient ones in addition to Ravi. Does APPLICANT so swear? Check 1 for 'yes' and 11 for 'no.'
-Application for license to practice advokism 
(revised 10009 Z.C.)

3 CIZARM 10012 Z.C.

There must not be much room to maneuver around, what with everything all broken and collapsed, so Crix decides to play keep away from Hauc. The spell must not be completed and she would do whatever she could to keep it from his hands. During this phase of hide-and seek she stumbles upon a still living Chief Observer Vazozav as he just regains consciousness. She tells him to gather the remaining goblins and head for the town, while she keeps the message away from the enemy.

The game eventually comes to and end. She tries to make break for it and run past him, but he manages to snatch the message arm out from her grip when she tries to use the arm as a club against him and he continues reciting the spell. Hauc finishes the spell and when the blue dragon egg shatters, one of the flying shards manages to chop off one of his hands.

It's at this point that Crix feels it's time to make a grand speech:

"I will not deliver the message!" Crix said. "I won't let you do this. One guild - one man - can't have that much power."

Hauc clutched his bloodied stump. "You would presume to lecture me?"

"Not any more. I presume to stop you," Crix said. Fire blazed in her soul as she added, "I quit."

(What was the point of that? He finished the spell already.)

The blue dragon calls Hauc by name, and after Hauc cauterizes his stump where his hand used to be with bolts of energy from his eyes, he jumps on the dragon's back and commands it to fly.

(They must be bigger than I imagined.)

Crix stares at her courier arm, and the cracking red dragon egg. She attempts to make out the message, but the language is beyond her. She needs someone with a bit more education to see if the spell gave him control of all the dragons, or just the one. And right on time Teysa enters her view off in the distance.

...In the distance...

Kos and Golozar aren't in the best of shapes. Falling along with the platform hopefully didn't cause serious damage. If Kos got to the point where he'd need to use his lucky healing tear drop, the drop itself would likely end his life.

Golozar groans and asks if they won, but the news that Hauc flew off mounted atop a drop made the answer a clear "no."

The turn to the sounds of someone climbing the nearby rubble and find the baroness herself appear. After informing the former wojek that Pivlic made it safely away, all three hear Crix calling out for the baroness' asistance. With all the debris in the way, Teysa looks to Golozar, sucks up her pride, and asks if he can carry her.

...At the egg...

Crix, Kos, and Golozar wait as Teysa completes the spell just before the dragon hatches. And just like that the dragon was calling Teysa its master. It asks if she wants a ride, and Teysa isn't so sure. She can barely ride a dromad, riding a dragon would be much worse. A quick inquiry reveals that Golozar has had some experience jumping on drakes when he was younger, so she insists that he go with her. He protests that he barely knows her, and then pauses while his feeling about going back to save his people or go with the baroness war with each other, and in the end decides the dragon is the way to go.

(More on this later.)

So what does that leave for Kos and Crix? They look over at Hauc's flight sphere and decide to take it for a spin.

...Above Utvara...

Hauc relishes in his new dragon that he dubs "Haucs' Blue", and one of his first thoughts is that Niv-Mizzet no longer has the power to challenge him. (Really? But the dragon has just been hatched.) However at this altitude the pollen from Vitar Yescu it too thick for comfort. If Hauc was going to lay siege to the world, he may as well begin there.

...Atop the red dragon...

Teysa and Golozar have a quick exchange where she's surprised at how educated he seems, and then he insists they gain altitude on the blue dragon to end this quickly. They witness the burning of Vitar Yescu, and she stresses urgency. There are hundreds of people in there, and they're all soon going to owe her their lives.

...Back in the Cauldron...

Crix tries to calm Kos down and tries to assure him that flight spheres are perfectly safe, that she was perfectly capable of flying it, and that they needed to hurry before the generators fell into the powerplant and set off all manner of explosions and likely cause the Cauldron to erupt.

That wasn't the problem though:

If Kos got into the sphere, he'd be alone with only one other individual. In the last twelve years, Kos had made sure that never happened, ever. It was, he realized now, one of the reasons he'd stayed so long at Pivlic's. There were always people coming and going. Even on late, slow nights there would be at least one drunk at the end of the bar, Pivlic behind the bar, and Kos standing - or more often sitting - watch over it all.

(Oooookay. That came out of nowhere. We got a brief mention at how Kos appreciated how there seemed to be no ghosts in Utvara, but since when did he hate being alone?)

We're then told that this fear is the fear of Lupul, the shapeshifting mass of worms that had taken so many lives during the decamillenial and even earlier. But there was no time, the Cauldron was about to blow, and besides, Lupul wouldn't be able to mimick rocket feet. He gets in, and they take off as the Cauldron goes up in a spectacular display of fire.

* * *


The good. Looks like we're about to get some fun and/or efficient dragon battling in the final chapter before the Epilogue.

The bad. What was the deal with Golozar? Sure he's been concerned about his people, and mentioned it now and then, but stopping the dragon will help save his people. Everyone else was so terrified about the world ending (Why I don't know. The blue dragon can't even take out Vitar Yescu in one blast), so shouldn't Golozar feel the same? Shouldn't he feel that letting that dragon live will be the end of his people? Herndon has even mentioned repeatedly how he's smarter than your average Gruul which should give him all the more reason to react the same way as everyone else.

The confusing. Why was it that Hauc wasn't using his magic to kill Kos during the brawl? I thought he was saving up mana to cast the spell. Now Teysa can cast the spell without any mana stores, so I supposed it takes colorless mana and/or that part of her Orzhov blood. It would have been nice to have seen that mentioned, all we got was that she could read the language the spell was written in.

Kos, Lupul Survivor

This absolutely needed more build up. This hit me out of nowhere and that as certainly poor planning on Herndon's part, in an attempt to remind us about the creature before its inevitable return in the final book of the trilogy. I'm assuming that's where it returns as its appearance now would be pretty pathetic. Who's it going to be... Golozar? Perhaps Nayine would make some sense but considering we're about to enter an aerial battle and she's grounded, it wouldn't make sense for Lupul to have a role here.

(Speaking of setting up the end of the trilogy... where are those angels? Are they being treated the same way as well? We had that nice moment atop Kos' tower which his daily ritual, and then nothing. That was the last mention of them.)

Well... time to cross that finish line.

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