Sunday, September 6, 2015

Rise of the King

Getting to Mithral Hall takes its time. Only at the end of Rise of the King the companions finally arrive to the dwarf city. The reason for the delay is of course the orc army that has taken over the Silver Marches region pretty much uncontested. Admittedly they got help from the drow and the two dragons, but still, you would think at least the dwarves would put up more of a fight.

To my disappointment there was no fighting against the drow in the novel. After Quenthel got part of Yvonnel's memories in the previous book, I had hoped this trilogy would be similar to the Legacy of the Drow series that had cool battles against the dark elves in every book. I guess those days are gone. At least for now.

The orcs, goblins, and giants do not make as interesting opponents. And why does it seem so difficult for Drizzt & Co. to take down a single frost giant. It should not be that challenging for them at this point. The giants also soak up quite a lot of fireballs from the mages in Nesmé before dying. Although that is pretty truthful to the D&D rules with how the spell is not actually very effective for taking down enemies with high health.

Salvatore's dark elves' ability see in darkness does not follow the rules quite as accurately. In the novel, a group of drow enter a room (or was it a cave) that is "too dark even for their superior low-light vision". I got the impression it was not magical darkness which means they should have been able to see perfectly fine in there. In the rules they have 120' darkvision and not some weak-ass low-light vision like surface elves and such have. I think may have pointed this out in some other post previously, too.

Neither have I still not seen any rulebook have stats for the bog blokes who make a small appearance again. And the troll regeneration, according to Salvatore, makes them capable of creating a whole new individual from a severed limb. That does not even begin to make sense. Would the new troll be a clone? Would the original troll be alright with that? They actually have reasonable levels of intelligence, you know. And why they have not just cut themselves to pieces to create an unstoppable army? I wish Salvatore's writings were more in line with the rules with things like these.

Jarlaxle gets one of his, now common, good alignment fits and decides to travel to the Bloodstone Lands to convince the bronze dragon sisters (who I had almost completely forgotten) to come aid with the white dragon menace. He will basically save the Silver Marches with that act as I do not see any other way the dragons could be beaten.

I do not like how Jarlaxle also meets up with Effron and the others on his way and talks them to come to help against the orcs as well. Salvatore almost let the unnecessary characters go but could not do it in the end. Athrogate taking Pwent's place is cool, though. They kind of are similar characters. Like most (if not all) Salvatore's dwarves, to think of it.

Rise of the King felt much like a mere build-up for the trilogy's final volume. I sure hope that will be more exciting than this one. And maybe Drizzt finally gets to duel Tiago for the unsurprising outcome.

On a somewhat related note, I checked – out of interest – Alustriel's FR wikia page as I was curious how exactly she had died during the Spellplague. I think Elminster mentioned her dying in some book but she definitely could have been able to fight the dragons.

The wikia page did not tell me the way Alustriel had died as apparently she had not! And neither had Laeral, another of the Seven Sisters. This information had a citation on it and of course I had to check the source. Unfortunately it turned out to be The Herald, the final book of The Sundering series which means I accidentally spoiled myself a bit of the book I am planning to read at some point.

It does not matter that much but it does raise the question: why is Alustriel not in Silverymoon, fighting the dragons and orc hordes? I mean, as a Chosen of restored Mystra, even the old dragon could be defeated without too much trouble. It is also amusing how they really are restoring the Realms to the pre-4E era.

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