Saturday, August 1, 2009

Forgotten Realms: Issue 5 – The Dragon Reach Saga

The second story arc of the Forgotten Realms comic begins with an ordinary farmer plowing his field.  Unfortunately, he lives in the Forgotten Realms, so work is interrupted when a flight of dragons flies overhead.

Mama said there'd be days like this. 

The scene then shifts to the Realms Master, off the coast of Baldur’s Gate. 

The dolphins are a nice touch

Once they are out of sight of land, Captain Omen tells Agrivar and Vartan that he has “something to show them” below decks.  Agrivar agrees, but it quickly becomes apparent that Vartan has no interest in going below decks unless it is to play seven minutes in heaven with Ishi.

This may be the first recorded instance of speed dating. Sauntering over to the asian swordswoman, Vartan finds her writing a letter to her father.  Once again, Vartan shows his talent for putting his foot in his mouth is still second to none.  First, he insults her adherence to honor, since it seems foolish to him that anyone as short-lived as a human would concern themselves with it.  She takes offense to this not only because her honor is her life, but also because her father, being a “short-lived human”, has been dead for ten years.

Meanwhile, Captain Omen shows Agrivar the Astrolabe of Nimbral!  Agrivar has no idea what it is, other than the fact that it looks impressive with lots of levers and may even be a machine that goes ping.

Apparently the machine does more than go ping. Not satisfied with Agrivar acting politely impressed, Captain Omen pulls one of the levers and transports them halfway across the Forgotten Realms to Shadowdale.  Captain Omen intends to drop in on Elminster, which only seems fair since Elminster stuck his nose into Omen’s business during the last story arc.

Upon landfall, they meet up with a local farmer who seems to be expecting them.  This leads to some confusion until it comes out that the farmer sent runners to Elminster and Lord Mourngrym.  The farmer assumed the Realms Master’s crew was sent by Elminster and Lord Mourngrym to deal with with his problem.

What problem?  Nothing much, just a dragon!

The farmer brings them to the bronze dragon, which is sleeping in the farmer’s field after eating the farmer’s cow.  These depraved acts convince most of the Realms Master’s crew of its evil intent.  Agrivar is not so sure though, since he has read the Monster Manual and is aware that Bronze Dragons are Lawful Good. 

Hasn't anyone ever heard that you should let sleeping dragons lie?Knowing there will be no living with the paladin if they kill a Lawful Good creature in its sleep, Captain Omen sends Minder down to wake it up.  The dragon is understandably startled to wake up to a golem taping on his nose and  this provokes the obligatory fight scene.  Not surprisingly, the dragon does well against the group.  Things are looking grim until Agrivar surrenders to the dragon and diffuses the situation.

Luckily this is not a 4E bronze.  They are much less reliably good.

Once the fighting is over, the dragon, named Murilantilathenes the Bronze, explains he came to Shadowdale looking for Elminster.  Someone is killing the great dragons of the north and he is hoping Elminster will deal with the situation.  Seeing Captain Omen he assumes he has finally found the famous Sage of Shadowdale

Halflings are genetically greedy. Captain Omen quickly corrects him as he is not about to let himself be confused with a feeble-minded hedge wizard of the north.  Still, the dragon needed adventurers and is not about to look a gift horse in the mouth.  Appealing to their self-interest and greed, he eventually convinces the Realms Master crew to take up his cause.

Unfortunately, at that point Elminster and his posse show up.  Even worse, he does not seem too happy about that “feeble-minded hedge wizard” crack.

If I were Elminster, I would have ditched the peasant.

Notes

  1. I really love the two page spread showing the Realms Master at sea.
  2. Since Vartan loves to talk about how short-lived humans are, I can only assume he is pursuing Ishi because he is not ready for a long-term relationship.
  3. I was not a big fan of the jaded farmer and his comedy stylings.  Although I do kind of enjoy him standing there with a big grin on his face when the rest of Elminster’s posse is trying to look serious.
  4. The fight between the bronze dragon and the Realms Master crew reminded me of the comic book cliché that anytime two superhero groups meet, they must have a misunderstanding and fight.
  5. A cliché that looks like it is about to be repeated at the end of the issue, when Elminster confronts the group.  Fortunately, cooler heads prevail next issue.

1 comments:

Todd said...

I didn't care for the farmer much either, but I loved that shot of the dragon's shadow. It always seemed like the kind of thing Spielberg would start a fantasy movie with.

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