Sometimes the only heroic option is to do what you can, even when it looks hopeless.

Not too much else to say about this one. Honestly, I’m still caught up in thinking about HR in the hypothetical 60-chapter Guilded Age Flo and I could never have done. This chapter could’ve ended with him captured. He could’ve fainted from Syr’Nj’s potion, woken up imprisoned by the sky elves’ strongest magicks, and thus been forced to interact from a position of weakness.

Apart from a brief scene showing him as a student, we’ve never seen him in such a spot before. He’s always been on top, backed by wealth, superior mystic force, or both. Would such limitations make him more sympathetic to the reader? More empathetic in fact? Maybe, but I don’t think it’d change the direction of his arc in the end. Most likely, he’d use the promise of his knowledge of a world beyond Arkerra to hoodwink a sky elf into loosening his bonds just a bit and then…alaka-bam.

If he was kept captive by our heroes in sky-elf-made cold-iron manacles, it’d be pretty much the same deal…though we might’ve surprised the reader there by having E-Merl resist his appeal, having fallen for Iwatani’s. In that case, the ultimate victim of his manipulation would likely be Frigg.