Great Goblin A Fishy Challenge, Banshee Powers and By Our Math Count a Paladin’s Time Has Ended in this Episode of The Quest.
Oh my God, this is it. Tonight, our four remaining Paladins — Lina, Shondo, Andrew, and Patrick — will whittle themselves down, one by one, until we have our One True Hero. It. Is. Happening.
But not yet. First, our heroes need to eat breakfast, make some small talk with the Queen, and get abducted by the live-action version of Ralph Bakshi’s Gollum. Shondo remarks on just how ugly these creatures are (in case you’re wondering, that’s pretty ugly) and the heroes are taken in front of the Great Goblin himself — I mean, the chief Rana. Queen Ralia makes an impassioned speech to gain the Rana as allies, but the Great Goblin isn’t hearing any of it. Lina breaks out from the group and makes her case to the chief, and Andrew tells us that this means she’s brave, which is pretty respectable. I’m inclined to agree with Andrew on this — slowly, Lina’s winning me over.
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But pretty words mean very little to the Great Goblin (or was it maybe Andrew admitting to his face that he’s terrified of him?) and in a twist of fate literally everyone saw coming, the Grand Vizier shows up and convinces the Rana to hand our heroes over to Verlox. The Grand Vizier is evil — shocker. Thanks to his greasy influence, our heroes are thrust into cages while Verlox is summoned. Winter is coming for Everealm.
Andrew figures out pretty quickly that yelling “let us out!” at the top of his lungs isn’t helping anything, and Queen Ralia rallies our depressed heroes and forms a plan. The Paladins — each in a separate cage strung from the ceiling — have to throw a rope around a post in the ground and pull themselves toward a knife at the other end of the room so they can cut themselves free. It must be fate, because the Rana haven’t yet figured out how to use real locks, so the cages are merely tied shut by thick rope.
Throwing the rope proves to be the big poser for our intrepid heroes, but Andrew — surprise, surprise — finishes first, cutting himself and then the other Paladins loose. Together, they free the Queen, Crio, and Sir Ansgar, and the race is on! Our heroes spend some time sprinting through the woods in an attempt to escape the goblin (Rana) lair, and they run into some trouble with the Everealm equivalent of Nazgûl. Luckily, they dodge the sneaky horsemen and make for the camouflaged campground from an earlier episode. In the heat of the moment, Sir Ansgar displays what could be construed as questionable judgment, deciding that this is an appropriate time to bestow another Mark on Andrew.
The campground is still there, and the Paladins sit there for a hot minute and laugh heartily at their daring escape. They aren’t laughing for long, though, because four Paladins is still three too many and the Fates need another sacrifice.
Andrew is exempted from the Fates’ challenge, having been the first to escape the cage earlier, so he gets to rest in the Temple of the Fates for a few minutes. He isn’t even worried about which Paladin goes home, he tells us, because he’s the One True Hero anyway. Cocky, but probably true.
Someone’s got a raspy voice tonight — oh wait, it’s the dreaded banshee! The three Paladins up for judgment (Shondo, Lina, and Patrick) have to carry an offering of eggs across a bog by walking across an array of floating debris. The first to succeed, as usual, will be saved from judgment.
Lina continues to win me over as she decides to take this challenge slowly in order to avoid making any mistakes in haste. Patrick and Shondo have some difficulty with balancing, but Lina’s method seems to work like a charm. She gets to the end of the course — oh, wait, never mind. She falls in at the last possible moment and has to return to the beginning, but forgets her egg tray in the bog. This is what hurts you every single time, Lina.
Shondo’s feeling the heat, and when things get nasty, he performs. He wins the challenge and delivers the eggs while the banshee rubs her hands all over his face. It’s vaguely unsettling for us to watch, and it seems to be all Shondo can do to keep himself together, because he keeps his eyes trained on the ground and mutters “here’s my offering” over and over again until the banshee leaves him alone. Based on entertainment factor alone, this guy seriously needs to be the One True Hero.
And Then There Were Three
It’s up to Shondo and Andrew to pick the continuing Paladin, and interestingly, they split the vote. In the event of a tie vote, apparently, the Paladin who won the Mark in the earlier challenge has to decide the vote. This ends up being Andrew, and he decides to bring Lina forward in the game, both relieving her and simultaneously ticking her off. She’s pretty certain he voted for her because she’s less of a threat than Patrick, and she’s ready to prove to Andrew that he made a big mistake. This girl’s got a cause, and the men had better watch out.
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