Featured Articles

Friday, September 23, 2011

Time Spiral - Chapter 11

Radha vs. Gathan warriors: Round 2!

Time Spiral - Chapter 11

Greht has been raiding Skyshroud for some time, taking trees to turn into a fleet to raid new lands, and now Radha has found the shipyards. The plan was to kill the Gathans, free the slaves, and burn it all down. No wait... she'll set fires to create a distraction, free the slaves, and kill the Gathans in the confusion. And if Greht doesn't appear to challenge her, she'll destroy supply caravan after supply caravan until he appears.

Sneaking down and taking out one of the Gathan guards is no problem. Neither is keeping sight of the overseer while keeping the slave pen between them to keep out of sight. At the timber pile she channels mana through one of her ancient blades and infuses the stolen wood with energy.

One of the slaves takes notice, and rather than obey her signals to keep quiet while she kills the overseer, he's been beaten into submission for so long that he actually yells out a warning and points to the intruder.

Armed with a fire-cracking whip, the Gathan overseer shouts for reinforcements and advances. The whip gives him longer reach, but Radha doesn't flinch as his arm snaps forward. Finessing the mana of Keld, she detonates the portion of the charged wood so the explosion shreds the overseer's whip before it ever touches her. With his reach advantage removed, she leaps into the air and drives her blades down into the Gathan's head.

At least, that was her intention.

She uses all her might and still the ancient blades barely leave two nicks as they deflect off his skull. What is going on here? Are these Gathans more than she can handle even without their warlord present?

Other Gathans appear and while she fights admirably, by the end her ribs are broken and a sword tip is jammed all the way through her thigh, and the overseer steps forward to deal the killing blow.

(Oh Radha, will she never learn her limits?)

She looks into his eyes, not afraid of death, and then sees them change. They glow with a blue light and voice that speaks isn't that of the overseer, but that of the wizard she thought dead. Teferi speaks directly into her head and lets her know that could have just let her die, but he has grander plans for her.

In the possessed body of the overseer, Teferi speaks to the Gathans:

Hark ye, children of this cold, hard place, he said. Be you Keldon, Gathan, Skyshroud, or anything in between, take heed: I am Teferi, planeswalker, and I am trying to save your world.

It does not matter that you do not care. I care, and I am weary of treating you bad mannered adolescents as adults and getting only violence and abuse for my patience.

I have tried to speak to you in your own language, your own idiom, but I fear I have not made myself plain, so I will try again, using terms even you cannot misinterpret.

He lashes out with with a fresh whip he cracks a whip at three of the warriors. A moment after the lashing they erupt in mess of flesh and blood. He tells the survivors  to pass on a message to Greht and every other warlord. He, is king of Keld and nothing will happen in Keld unless he allows it. He extends the whip upward, and when the tips falls down upon his head, his borrowed body showers them with more blood. They run.

Teferi reappears, in simpler clothes than he wore before and more serious, less childish face. He tells the elf that she must join him. If she does not, the world will continue to crumble and whither away.

She considers his words and asks if the Book of Keld taught him why she still cannot defeat the Gathans, and he tells her there are no more bargains, to be made. No more promises. Her only choices are to come with him or not. Radha quits resisting and goes with him, with one that stipulation that should she discover the secret she seeks, her mission with Greht will resume.

* * *

The Speech

Radha is one determined elf, and that's admirable, but it's Teferi that sticks out here. He's finally made some real progress. This isn't a world to lay out statistics and pie charts and pros and con lists as methods to convince people. He finally learned to take some action. I just wish he took it a step further. How much greater would that scene have been had he blown up three Gathans before his speech even began?

(Or would that be too ruthless, and unacceptable for a protagonist? The guy is dead as an example to the others either way.)

It did serve it's purpose either way, but I do have an issue with the whole thing. Most of the speech was incomprehensible to the people he was talking to. Most of those incidents her was referring to were performed by Radha herself, and had nothing to do with the Gathans. This is likely the first time that any of them have ever heard of him, and if they were at the battle at Skyshroud they wouldn't be able to recognize him because he was in the overseer's body and not his own.

It's true that the speech was mostly irrelevant, and it was the Gathan bombs that really sent the message home to them, so at least their actions still make sense despite not being able to understand what he was talking about. Teferi needs to stop being so wordy. He's not just talking to Jhoira in her workshop anymore.

No comments:

Post a Comment