Part 13: Level One: Gonzaga, Part 2Level One: Gonzaga, Part 2
So then. We've gotta get past Gonzaga, preferably without dying horribly. There were many suggestions to bluff Gonzaga about our magic weaponry. Maybe that'll work...
"I have but to say a word, and I shall be armed and armored in magic guise; then, no knight may stand before me. Stand aside!"
"That is as may be," says Gonzaga grimly. "But ye shall not pass, regardless. En garde!"
Well, he asked for it. We'll just call upon Tostien again!
You shout a magic word. It has no effect. "No parasan!" shouts Gonzaga, and attacks. The massive, black-armored form hurtles toward you, his high-held blade flashing in the sun.
You hurtle toward one another. The Black Knight's blade swings down; you dodge aside, and under his guard, you plunge your dagger into his breast. But his plate turns your weapon aside and, with amazing speed, Gonzaga dances back and fetches you a blow to the side. You are wounded and fall. Gonzaga stands aside. "Here then, 'tis no disgrace to admit defeat. Take thy kit and go."
Yikes. Figures Tostien's offer was one time only. Better roll that back a bit and try reasoning. Let's start by appealing to his sense of justice.
You tell him of your quest. "And so," you conclude, "I seek to overthrow the Usurper Timozel, and restore King Carlon to his rightful throne. Will you not join me in this knightly quest?"
The black knight pauses for a moment. "Nay," he says at last, "for I am sworn to Timozel. Whate'er he hath done, he is my lord. Prepare to die!"
That didn't help. How about his sense of mercy?
You plead with Gonzaga to let you pass. You point out that you are unarmored, and that he can make short work of you. You say you are no threat to anyone; a simple, unarmed villager.
"Hah!" quoth Gonzaga. "A simple villager who summons magic arms and destrier to his need. En garde!"
Nope. But surely the power of friendship will work!
"Gonzaga, valiant friend. It is not necessary for us to fight. I mean thee no harm. Let me be on my way."
"Sorry, good fellow. Duty calls. Have at thee!"
No, there's only one thing that will give us the slightest chance against Gonzaga, and that's to appeal to his chivalry. We know he's fair and we know he thinks we're fair, so if we offer to fight he may accede to some request of ours to make the fight more even.
An interesting selection. We have many options here: A sword would be the finest weapon available, but we've only ever used Joyeuse (a magic sword that did most of the work for us). A dagger's a weapon we're accustomed to, so that might work. Fighting unarmed would avoid serious injury, but Gonzaga's still a tough knight. However, we know from our experience with the woodsman that our character is quite skilled with a quarterstaff. If Gonzaga's offering us our choice of weaponry, why not go with our best?
"Sticks?" says Gonzaga with distaste. "You want to fight with sticks?" You insist, and he agrees. You both cut yourself a branch and trim it. Then, you face. Gonzaga tries to wield his like a sword. You dance out of range of his wild blows and tap him on the forehead. He falls.
"Astounding," he says, rising unsteadily. "You'll have to teach me that one day."
Cheerfully, you agree, then ask him how to leave this place. He points you toward the exit. "But beware," he says, "Timozel has no love for intruders. And the Castle Perilous befits its name." You promise to be careful.
Victory is ours, and honorably as well. We can depart for the Castle Perilous with our heads held high.
Wait. That means our next PoP is...
Alternate Solutions & Deaths
The only way to die here is to defy Gonzaga's offer of surrender when he wounds you.
"Never!" you spit. You totter to your feet, holding your side, and dance toward him, weapon extended. "Well said, sir knight," says Gonzaga sadly, and fells you with a final blow.
We can get wounded several other ways if we appeal to his chivalry but choose the wrong weapon.
Sword: "Very well," says Gonzaga and hands you a sword. It feels awkward in your hands. Villagers are not permitted to own such weapons. The only time you have wielded a sword before is at the tourney, when your magic blade practically did the fighting for you. "Have at thee!" cries Gonzaga, and you desperately raise your weapon to parry his blow. The next one you cannot parry. You are wounded.
Dagger: "A dagger?" he says in some surprise. "Very well." He takes a slender blade, more point than edge, designed to penetrate a knight's mail. You dance toward each other. A flurry of blows are exchanged. Although Gonzaga has rarely used a dagger in combat, he is a trained warrior, and you are a villager. It is not long before he wounds you.
Right, so nothing pointy. Gonzaga is good at pointy. Wait, what if we just wrassle?
"You wish to wrestle?" asks Gonzaga. "Aye," you say. "Very well," he shrugs. As he strips, you realize that his scarred body must weigh 200 pounds, every ounce of it muscle. you charge at one another. It is not long before he hurls you to the ground. "Enough?"
We could accept defeat, but we aren't badly hurt, so why not keep trying?
You catch your breath, and return to the fray. You get lucky, and toss the knight to the ground. He seems relieved. "Then thou hast defeated me, and may go. Though I wish my lord no ill, I wish thee luck." You thank him and continue on your way.
Seems Gonzaga was just trying to save face here. He wanted you to win somehow, but he wasn't going to throw the match. Still, turns out wrestling works just as well as sticks.
So that's two alternate solutions. But there is a third, and someone nailed it 100%: Gonzaga is not on his horse, and he is in full plate. Sure, he might still be pretty swift in that stuff, but our character is reasonably athletic (we are, after all, a Runner). Suppose we just... run around him?
You run around the knight in sable, trying to outdistance him. As he is slowed by his armor. "What?" shouts Gonzaga. "Where is your honor? Poltroon! Stand and fight!"
He galumphs after you, his armor clanking. Soon, you make it to the exit from this place.
I don't consider this the best solution, as it's incredibly dishonorable, but seeing as the goal is simply to get past Gonzaga and this technically is the most efficient solution, I'm gonna have to award full points to the suggester. Congratulations!