To arms!  Agents of the AoD had been harassing the village for several days (another reason for Mu to avoid it), and now it seemed there was a battle in progress.  After endless pointless questing, Musashi had a serious death wish, and actually managed to show up to the village before everything was completely over.  Here he runs desperately towards the enemy, trying to pick them off from a safe distance, as Palehorse (mounted), Deathwish Dragon (navy cloak), and Ni’Vek (looking at Mu in disbelief) beat him to it.

Well naturally he missed it.  However, Indur Dawndeath (white tunic and vicious halberd) spotted AoD member "a chicken" slightly to the west, and the chase was on.  Mu managed to find them, and managed to lay one flimsy arrow into a chicken’s pant leg, tripping him up for the fatal blow from Indur who had done all the work anyway.  How exciting!  Naturally, Indur and Deathwish are too busy picking over the corpse to pay any attention to Mu’s childish ravings; the bored wolf is Mu’s only audience.

Why did a chicken fall so easily when he might have just run to the protection of Lord British’s extremely stupid guards?  Magical paralysis?  Divine intervention?  Connection lost?  Mu tries to take credit for the event to Rose of Jade (neon green dress and unfashionable bone helmet), while Indur and Deathwish shake their heads sadly and Gaul, a visitor to the clearing, gets as far away from Mu as possible.

Nothing like some dueling to take the place of out-and-out war, and Gorgan of AoD was more than happy to start things rolling.  A good fighter, Gorgan first was beaten by Montesque (left pic, behind the Tree of Faith) in a halberd duel, then killed Montesque in an all-out fight, which was not supposed to be fatal… ah what can you expect from a guy who mismatches a closed helm with bone armor?  Ni’Vek then fought a thrilling 10-15 minute battle with him, keeping things even for a long time despite the fact that he had forgotten his arrows that day and seemed to be testing out 4 or 5 different melee weapons.

It was up to Maraxus Moor of the High Council to take out Gorgan in another excellent fight.  Maraxus, a master of personal combat, has been in seclusion for a while, but came out to see what this poorly-attired young man was all about.  Here Maraxus sets Gorgan up for a devastating hammerpick to the spine by giving him a painful and distracting wedgie… nothing to sneeze at when one is wearing bone armor.

NOOOOOOOOOOO!  Just when the duels were ending and Mu thought imminent danger had surely passed, then SHE shows up!  Kagero of the Ridiculous Hat Collection, the bane of Mu’s existence.  Smelling blood and a chance to grandstand, she appeared in the clearing just as Gorgan was leaving, and began fuming about wanting a fight.  Turning about the clearing, her insane and smoldering eyes found Mu as he attempted desperately to hide behind the guildhall, which could only mean one thing…

It is not commonly known that the Eminent Kagero, Grandmaster (insert useful skill here) has a self-esteem problem, and bolsters her poor self-image by killing every villain in sight in badly outnumbered battles… or Mu, if nothing else is available.  For about 10 minutes Mu ran in circles around the clearing, desperately trying to avoid energy bolts, explosions, flamestrikes, and a hammerpick which hit like a ton of boulders while fumbling for an escape rune which was never found.  Finally, knowing the only way to make Kagero cease her attacks (besides death), he surrendered and passed her a big pile of gold to squander on reagents and more hats.

With honor satisfied, Mu and Kagero returned to Musashi’s one remaining unlooted house for a peaceful evening of rest and relaxation… or Kagero’s version of it, which means beating the hell out of the tailor with a stick long into the night until the rays of the sun make their way through Mu’s swollen, blackened eyes.  Is this a normal home life for a resident of Sosaria?  Who knows, but judging from most of Mu’s encounters with other people, this seems downright tender.


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