By now, it was familiar for Phil and me to haggle over the length of fight scenes, but in retrospect, this was about as packed as we could get it. Auraugu needed some kind of win in this chapter to balance out the spankings he gets for most of it (and he’s got one more coming up).

Yet Ardaic had to acquit himself honorably, especially given what’s at stake for him, not just to keep the action-adventure thrills coming but also to follow through on that character stuff I mentioned last time we saw him. With the Centurion elsewhere, he doesn’t really have a chance, but at least he buys a little time.

Panel 5 may be a slight concession from Auraugu, who generally does not scruple about attacking the weak and wounded as long as the deaths he dispenses are mercifully quick. This strikes me as a justifiable tactic when the targets are so crucial to the war effort (as Goblaurence mentioned, killing Syr’Nj would be a tremendous morale-booster, and surely killing Ardaic has military value), but Auraugu’s outsize notions of honor make it a bit more of a wrinkle in his philosophy.

It’s true that the fuzzy peoples might not include “attacking a hospital” in the songs of their hero’s inspiring exploits. But even to someone like Auraugu, what Gastonia would do to the Rebellion’s lands outweighs any apparent dishonor in such tactics (…doesn’t it?).