Greetings everyone. I hope you area all sufficiently recovered from viewing that small indie drama about a group of heroes who attempt to save the world? Amazing what they can do on a limited budget. (It was rather good, though, wasn’t it?)
This weeks sees the penultimate phase of the War of the Wanton Maw. Who knows what the final phase will bring, but you can bet your sweet patootty that it will involve fighting the Dragon Cultists. Which is actually what we are doing this week. “The Wanton Maw's plans have been uncovered. A group of Maelforge and Laethys' most trusted minions have planned a devastating attack on the Ascended, one that threatens the existence of Telara itself, but who or what their target is remains unclear. Rally with the Ascended to end the War of the Wanton Maw, and stop the dragons' secret plot.”
So, we still don’t know what the secret plot it. But I’m sure it must be bad, and not something like the dragon cults stealing one sock from every pair in all the households of Telara. Or hiding all the pens and quills so one is never around when you need them. To be honest, I’m not sure how one actually rallies all the Ascended, but all we can do is our own little bit.
I speak to Corporal Riasa in Sanctum, and he tells me that we’ve really got the Wanton Maw on the run. The only problem is, the planes have been trying to force new Rifts into Telara, and each new tear weakens the boundaries between the worlds. He wants me to use my Planar Lure on any tears to open up a Rift so I can close them up again.
Sure I say, I can do that. I’m heading back into Gloamwood, but I keep an eye out for any tears along the way and deal with them appropriately.
Once I’ve made my way back to Gloamwood, it comes to my attention that Caedryn’s genius and martial prowess has finally been realized. How so, you say? Well, Caedryn has been given a command of his own. OK, so it’s not an army of a thousand. Or even a hundred. Er… or even fifty.
You see, Sergeant Faid tells me that there is an army of goblins mustering their forces in Darkening Deeps. Everyone I talk to has something to say about the goblins, so obviously something big is going to kick off soon. But in the meantime, Sergeant Faid wants me to guide a few new recruits through Silkweb Pass. As Faid says, “These recruits are brave, strong, and inexperienced - a dangerous combination. The war against the goblins will be hard fought, and these soldiers don't have the training. Your veteran instincts must guide them through this treacherous pass.”
You see? My “veteran instincts”. Caedryn is finally given the respect he deserves.
Unfortunately, all the new recruits perish while I’m chatting to a goods dealer trying to sell some of the junk I’ve amassed. What? Don’t judge me. General Goods traders have to be taken advantage of whenever you find them.
Anyway, we are more successful on my next attempt. We are ambushed a few times by spiders exploding from the ground, then a gang of goblins, but we defeat them all, forging a bond that only men and women who fought together in battle can forge. A deep understanding. A brotherhood, a sisterhood. An empathy, a—
Then they all die.
Seriously. After fighting through these battles a cart lying on the road was booby-trapped, exploding and killing all but one of the 8th Guard. And isn’t it just typical? The survivor turns out to be a whiny kid who keeps saying “I can’t believe they’re all dead.”
Believe it kid. This is war.
So now I’ve got to lead the last remaining injured recruit to Captain Trebian in Silkweb Outpost for medical attention. This time I make sure he doesn’t die or anything. Because that really would be just plain embarrassing. Still, Captain Trebian is not happy at this new turn of events. He has never heard of goblins attacking like this, so far from Darkening Deeps. He says we will have to strike back soon, before there is an all-out invasion. Sigh. I bet I can guess who is going to have to stop them.
In the meantime, I return to Gloamwood Pines where it seems word of my various successes has arrived before me. Furtho Dragomir wants me to ring his Gloam Bell at his manor's balcony, to signal a celebration and party for the people of the area. As he says, “Your deeds call for a celebration, my friend. It has been too long since we had cause to celebrate. Take the Gloam Bell - it is a symbol of my people. Ring it from my balcony so all of Gloamwood knows there are still heroes standing against the darkness.”
Sure. Caedryn is all about people celebrating his greatness. So he rings the bell and basks in their adoration for a few minutes. All too soon it is over, but Furtho tells me to go and speak with Sheriff Thalia Cosmin. Caedryn tracks her down and she tells him. “Please, Caedryn, allow me to express the gratitude of all the citizens of Gloamwood Pines.”
Yeah. Get your minds out of the gutters. It’s not like that. Thalia offers me the choice of some new armor. I pick a chestguard of wanton destruction, upping my armor by a good 70 points or so. Unfortunately, it looks like a reject from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, so I’ll have to find some clothes to wear over the top.
Next week? The final phase.