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Tandra Page 964, December 30, 2007

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One of the essential rules of fantasy fiction is the hero must always arrive at the last moment to save the damsel in distress from a horrible fate worse than death. Peril may be at hand and the prospect looking grim, all hope may have vanished, but the stalwart hero always arrives in the nick of time to save the day.

Well...not this time.

I’ve generally not been fond of the last minute rescue. It’s not so much I dislike pulling the distressed lady of the moment from peril. I just think it’s been done to death. If the guy’s gonna save the maid along with her honour, why not get on with it and save her in a hurry. Why put her through all the mental anguish of having the heavy leer at her semi-clothed beauty and describe all the vile things he will surely do to her trembling white body if the hero is sitting around just off stage smoking and flirting with the female stage hands and waiting for the final moment before doom descends to make his glorious entrance?

Well...not this time.

Not that I haven’t had fun with the last possible moment rescue over the years. Fact is, the very first Tandra Plate long years ago began with just such a scenario. The lady was in dire peril and the hero came gallantly to her rescue, dispatching the dastardly bad guys along the way. So I took the short cut, the tried and true path of getting my hero into the story in a most heroic manner. I wanted the introduction out of the way and to get on with the adventure! So, sue me for not going for originality. Actually, in retrospect, as the damsel in distress became more finely detailed, it became apparent she might not have been in such dire peril at all. In subsequent outings, she has exhibited considerable ability to defend her own virtue, such as it may be, with hardly any assistance from third parties. In any case, the damsel always seems to come through.

Well...not this time.

On occasion, I have done the variation with the last minute rescue scenario in which the hero does, for fact, arrive on the scene just in time only to find the lady in distress has grown tired of awaiting his heroic arrival and has taken care of the villain herself. I thought that might be a fun variation on the hackneyed last possible moment rescue arrangement.

But, not this time.

This time the hero arrives a moment too late!

There will be hell to pay, of course. Some already in evidence with this page and more to come next week. One thing we learn rather decisively about Dragonrok, one doesn’t screw around with Rok without reaping rather unpleasant consequences in return.

Stay tuned. The body count is still in the single digits, but that is guaranteed not to last for long. The wolf is among the geese and there is hell to pay!

Next week; Tandra Page 965 titled “Dragonrok’s War.”

See ya then.

May the sun always shine on your parade.