Saturday, August 29, 2009

Forgotten Realms: Issue 9 – Minder’s Story

Captain Omen is having a bit of trouble getting up this morning.  The exertions of the previous day have not been kind to his old and diseased body.  He sits down in the cabin, looking forward to a nice quiet day devoted to cataloging information on artifacts.

Foxilion then bursts into the captain’s cabin raving about what a beautiful day it is outside.

I hate morning people!

Captain Omen’s dispatches the halfling with hastily cast a Gust of Wind.  Considering how obnoxious Foxy is, I think I can forgive Omen for being a bit on the grumpy side.

Noting Foxilion’s inauspicious exit from the captain’s quarters, Minder goes in to investigate.  She finds Captain Omen literally doubled over in pain.  Minder quietly begins tidying up the cabin and asks Omen how bad the pain is today. 

Omen openly wonders, “why do I go on like this?”  Minder simply answers, “you’re too important to me not to.”  The odd pair then clings to one another for support.

This was a very well done and tender scene.

Back on the main deck, Ishi and Agrivar spar with wooden swords.  Foxilion thinks he is the fight’s announcer while Vartan tries to catch up on some sleep.  The first round goes to Agrivar, who powers through Ishi’s defenses with brute strength. 

Vartan is just thinking what we are all thinking.

Agrivar graciously allows Ishi to pick up her sword.  This time around Ishi uses her superior agility to take down Agrivar.  She is less gracious and declares victory over the paladin.

During the after battle banter between Agrivar, Ishi, and Foxilion, an eavesdropping sahuagin overhears an oblique reference to treasure.  Like a bad sitcom neighbor, he misunderstands what he hears and hurries off to get some friends.

On the deck, Vartan accidentally asks about Minder’s origins.  This prompts Foxilion to tell his companions what he knows of Minder’s story.  Both Ishi and Agrivar listen with rapt attention while Vartan drifts off into sleep.

No beard = female dwarf. In Omen’s youth, he traveled with a beautiful warrior woman and a stout dwarf.  The three set off on a quest to find the legendary Astrolabe of Nimbral.  The Astrolabe was hidden in a fortress guarded by men in glassteel armor and powerful golems.  They were able to sneak past most of the golems but ran afoul of a powerful Crystalgriff in the treasure room. 

The companions prevailed, but at a great cost.  One of Omen’s companions was dead and the other was gravely wounded.  Omen could not heal his friend, but used his magic to place his friend’s spirit into the body of one of the iron golems.

Meanwhile, Vartan’s slumber proves not to be very restful.  He dreams of his dead companions, who were devoured by gnolls prior to his first meeting with Agrivar.  He then dreams of his current companions fighting a kracken and dying horribly.

At this point Labelas Enoreth appears in the dream.  He informs Vartan that he is in danger and that this dream is a warning.  The god needs Vartan to survive the upcoming battle… but seems less concerned about the fate of Vartan’s friends.

Labelas sure is buff!

Vartan awakens to see his nightmare becoming horribly real as a kraken is attacking the ship.  A sahuagin leader offers to spare their lives in exchange for their treasure, but Agrivar vows that they will never bow to pirates.

I have no idea how that saddle is supposed to work!

The group battles against the kraken but is having difficulty fighting the powerful beast.  Vartan does take advantage of several clues imparted by the dream to save his companions lives though.  Captain Omen is only packing divination spells this day, but realizes they need to be a bit creative to save the ship.

How do you explain this to your insurance? So Captain Omen heads below decks to the Astrolabe.  Disengaging the safeties, he teleports the ship fifteen feet straight up.  This turns the Realms’ Master itself into a weapon as it comes crashing down on the Kraken!

All that is left of the assault is dead squid, which Ishi insists Agrivar will have to cook since he lost their duel.

Notes

  1. This is the first “done in one” issue of the Forgotten Realms comic.  I enjoyed getting a little of Omen’s and Minder’s history, but I thought the sahuagin attack seemed tacked on.
  2. I thought the sequence of Captain Omen getting up and Foxilion’s unwanted intrusion was very well done.  I really felt for Omen.
  3. I enjoyed the duel.  I also enjoyed Foxilion and Vartan’s reactions to it.
  4. In the flashback, they really tried to make you believe that Minder was the female warrior.  I thought it was obvious though, especially since Minder cried out the name of the dwarven god Clanggedin Silverbeard in the first story arc.
  5. The dream sequence was nicely done.  The foreshadowing to the upcoming Time of Troubles tie-in was also nice.
  6. Omen sure likes to drop heavy objects on creatures to kill them, doesn’t he?

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