Secret of the Unicorn, Chapter 4: Triage!

(If you have the original edition, this is the middle third of Chapter 3.)

So Emily and Kara finally reach Ravenswood, where they find a herd of wounded animals gathered in the portal field. Emily, showing remarkably more responsibility than she did earlier with the whole taking kennel dogs to the football game and leaving them with Marcus scenario, sets up a quick animal triage and casts Heal a gazillion times. The animals are a mix of familiar species and some new ones (note: the animal guide’s just been updated!), one of which is a badly wounded koala-thing called a wommel. The first one Emily heals is eventually given a name (I think later on in this book): Rommel. I think I remember doing a double-take when I saw that way back when I first read the book and went, “Wait … is this just supposed to be an alliterative name, or is he named after the Desert Fox?” And then when I re-read the chapter last night, this immediately popped up in my head:

Except I don’t think “Rommel, yeah he conspired against Hitler / now he’s a magic koala and he’s cute as a button!” has the same ring to it.

Anyway, after Emily heals all the animals, she hears a strange melody that nobody else does. This is when all the new refugees — starting with a quiffle named Waldo — tell the girls that some other beast followed them through the portal. The refugees can’t agree on what the creature looks like, but Emily is sure that it needs her help. She and Ozzie head into the woods, while Adriane tells them that “It’s dangerous to go alone — take this!” and lets them borrow Stormbringer.

And so the healbot, the useless ferret, and the badass wolf enter the forest….

Yeah, I don’t have much confidence in this party.

Next time: Hey, it’s Zach! Remember him?

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7 comments

  1. Gotta love that consistent characterization, lol. So the new arrivals include a German tank commander and a beloved children’s book character. Hmmm…

    At first I was going to say “well, Stormbringer is useful,” but then I tried to remember what significant useful stuff she actually does and could only think of the ends of books 6 and 9. O.o Well, she did save Emily in book 1 I guess.

    But Ozzie is 99% useless for almost 11/12ths of the series. No argument there.

    1. How much can each of those characters contribute in a typical RPG party? Let’s see….

      * Emily: she heals and cures poison, but not much else. Still essential, though.
      * Ozzie: he can … uh … hit things with a stick? Utterly worthless.
      * Stormbringer: she’s a wolf, and she can turn into mist, so she’s got that going for her. But her best moments are when she’s utterly sacrificing herself (almost getting nuked in book 6, being a bridge in an astral plane throughout books 7 and 8, and turning into a forest spirit at the end of book 8), and she’s missed out on some moments of badassery (book 3 for sure), so … I guess if you were in desperate need for offense, she’d be okay, but not my first choice.

      Damn, I wish there was something more to Ozzie than being Utterly Pure Pureness and Mr. Immortal. (Eek, spoilers, I guess ^_^) Couldn’t the Fairimentals have turned him into a more useful animal … like, a bear?

  2. Ah, so chapter 3 in the original wasn’t that short after all.

    There were many species Emily couldn’t even identify—small red bear-like creatures, jet-black possum creatures—but their feelings of pain were all too familiar.

    I wish those were real animals. Tiny bears? So cute ♥ Sad about them being radioactive though. Oh well, that’s what Emily’s for.

    When the wommel is first described, I got the impression that it’s a bear the size of a koala (“a badly burned red koala-sized bear”). This series has not been the best with wording though, so sometimes I find myself very confused regarding action and description.

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