The villains have assembled their forces. So have the protagonists. King Arthur is on the gargoyles’ side, but he lacks Excalibur, his knights, and Merlin. Will his warrior skills hold true after 1000+ years of enchanted sleep? He’ll be facing Demona and Macbeth, warriors who have been honing their skills for those 1000+ years. The Weird Sisters are also going to battle; they’ll face Magus, who lost the Grimorum and his magic decades ago. To top things off, the Archmage will be using all the power of the Grimorum Arcanorum, Phoenix Gate, and Eye of Odin to fight Goliath. It’s going to take real skill on the antagonists’ part to lose this game.
Magus awaits the Weird Sisters. They show up fashionably late and begin mocking him and his magic-less self.
Ah, but he surprises them! He calls on Avalon to fill him with its energy. Avalon obliges.
20/20 moment: We know that Avalon can “send” people “where they need to go.” We know it’s magical and that it’s Oberon’s home. But is it semi sentient itself? Like, an AI, not an actual person. Same goes for the magic. Is it like an energy creature?
What Sorcery is This?
He zaps the Weird Sisters. They’re pissed now. They accuse him of stealing Avalon’s magic. Hey, if he can access it, and if he’s using it to protect Avalon, he’s using it properly. The Weird Sisters are the ones who are misusing power, since they’re essentially handing over Oberon’s island, the home of all the fey, to a human mage so he can use it to take over the world. That’s gotta break a rule somewhere. They’re doing all this for their own revenge. Oh, sure, some humans and gargoyles wiggled past the Sisters, but the mortals have actually been taking good care of the place.
They promise to make Magus suffer. Hah, he’s been suffering for decades thanks to his self-imposed punishment! That’s the worst kind, you know. There’s no escaping it.
Even so, they zap him back with their magic. It’s pure energy, no special effects.
Demona attacks the Avalon clan, who are crappy archers and even worse warriors. Demona is fully under the Archmage’s control; not even pleas for her to remember the clan is her children helps.
Arthur and Macbeth are still dueling. Mac comes up with a sword. Nice.
Goliath faces the Archmage. Come on, Goliath, the only way to beat a magic user is to get in close and pummel them.
At the castle, Demona continues to attack the infirmary gargs. Gabe tries to stop her, but can’t swing it.
Then Elisa steps up. She’s out of ammo, as usual, so she uses Demona’s rage against her. Demona goes primal on Elisa – or tries to. Elisa holds her own well. Pretty impressive. Demona actually tosses her laser rifle aside to go bare knuckles.
The Archmage continues to zap Goliath, getting real kick out of vengeance.
Tom and Gabe try to hold Demona down, but that’s just a dumb idea all around. Then Elisa and the garg beasts join in. That’s better. This gives Katherine the chance to grab Demona’s dropped laser rifle and turn it against the immortal.
The Weird Sisters and Magus are still trading shots. Magus blasts them, but they cry out to Avalon, which sends storm clouds. Magus flees into the Hollow Hill, with the Sisters on his tail.
Arthur breaks Mac’s sword with a mace, then pins the other king to a tree with the broken blade and punches him out.
In the Hollow Hill, Magus uses the last of his strength to change the armor to chains and bind the Sisters. His rhyme involves the word “witches,” which I feel could be swapped easily for another word that more aptly describes them. Again, this must work because it’s a human using the magic, and energy is energy.
Revenge, AKA Being a Sucker
The Archmage has the upper hand against Goliath. Why not kill his enemy? “I’m having too much fun!” Mate, you gotta get another hobby, cuz this one is not sustainable. Go for lower-level antagonist fun like Xanatos does. The worst that happens there is you end up in jail for a few months.
Angela knocks the mage off Goliath. Goliath gets tossed in the lake, which the Archmage ices. G breaks through and latches onto the Eye of Odin on the mage’s head.
They zap through time and space, appearing in the Gate’s fireball in various place around the lake. You gotta wonder what they were doing during those times? Did the Archmage get away, and the G tracked him down and zapped back? They’re in different poses sometimes.
According to Greg: He wanted to show them in different times and places during this, but they lacked the time and resources to design sets for this.
Finally Goliath muscles of the Eye of Odin from the mage’s head. The Archmage thinks it’s fine, since he has the Gate and Grimorum. Ah, but then the energy backfires. Without the Eye, he can’t control it. That’s why he had to bond with it first.
His power consumes him. How ironic.
“All my lovely magic…” he says as he vanishes.
The Grimorum is gone, but the Gate remains. Goliath takes it,
In the Hollow Hill, Katherine and Magus say goodbye. Goliath adds that he owes the Magus a great debt for saving Goliath’s “children.” Plus, I don’t think Goliath regrets the curse anymore. He’s had a fuller life in the 1990s than he did in the 990s, I think, other than that he doesn’t have Demona. Funny how things we consider disasters sometimes turn out for the best.
According to Greg: they didn’t say “die,” because S&P wouldn’t let them. Greg says that bringing Magus back – despite some people’s belief that he survived – would cheapen his life and sacrifice. In conflicts, people stand up for their causes. They also die for them. He has been redeemed thanks to his sacrifice.
We wrap up with everyone on the beach. Elisa, Bronx, and Goliath are going to Manhattan. Arthur is going exploring alone so he’s less “conspicuous.”
The Avalon clan is staying on the island. Except for Angela. She wants to go along. Goliath doesn’t try too hard to dissuade her.
In exchange for being unbound from the chains, the Weird Sisters release Macbeth and Demona from the geas. The two won’t remember anything about this adventure. The Sisters vanish after Goliath breaks the chains and as D and Mac drift off in an Avalon skiff.
As the Manhattan Clan sails off, Tom calls, “Avalon doesn’t take you where you want to go, it sends you where you need to be.”
Oh. Well. That’s not foreboding at ALL. Somehow I don’t think we’re going back to Kansas, Toto. Or Manhattan. Crap.
I must admit, the protagonists’ victory was impressive. That said, the fight ended up looking more difficult than it was. By right, it should have been more difficult. Why wasn’t it? Because the antagonists made mistakes, and the protags knew enough not to interrupt their enemies while they were making said mistakes. First, you have the Sisters underestimating Magus. They think little of mortals, as we saw in part 1. They didn’t expect him, although he is a skilled magic user, to be able to tap Avalon’s magic.
Then we have the Archmage, who basically lost the game for Team Archy. He couldn’t’ have played for the other team more if he’d run the ball into the end zone for them! He could have blasted all 36 gargs at sunup before anyone knew he was on the island. The humans wouldn’t have stood a chance. But no, he made a big affair of it, unnecessarily complicating.
Sure, Xanatos’s plans are complicated when he could have taken a straighter approach, but that’s because he’s trying to hit as many goals with one shot as possible. None of them, by the way, involve anything as petty as revenge. He enjoys toying with his opponents, but out and out vengeance isn’t in his playbook.
The Archmage loses the plot, getting fixated on revenge to the point that he seems to forget why in the heck he’s even on Avalon. He acts like he’s just there for revenge on Goliath. He could have had a shot at ruling the world if he’d just gone the common sense, adult way, but nooo. It’s a warning to us to keep our eyes on the goal.
The Archmage also forgets rule #1 when playing a magic user: never let the enemy get close to you. If they get inside your guard, you’re screwed. They’ll just pound you.
Greg says that they wanted to keep true to the mage’s “cliched” roots. They did a good job keeping things believable, and showing that the Archmage has grown, but staying with the track they’ve laid with him. Namely, that he’s essentially a petty, greedy jerk.
It was a nice reversal to see the Weird Sisters as antagonists instead of benign, or even benevolent beings, who took pity on Mac and D. This makes so much more sense. Without these eps, City of Stone falls a bit flat since the Sisters’ motives aren’t explained. The Avalon eps are basically the Part 2 of CoS.
I’m looking forward to seeing where the protags land and who they face next.
I’m even more interested in seeing what becomes of King Arthur.
Next Tuesday we review Shadows of the Past. We’ll run into characters we haven’t seen since Awakening. Will Goliath and Co be able to lay these ghosts to rest?