Overall this is a well paced episode, it completes the adventuring party, moves the story forward and darkens the tone considerably. The dark empire* Marmo is introduced, and there are further hints that Karla is playing her own game but no actual details emerge.
We last saw our heroes departing from Parn's village
on a one way trip. Burning your house down will do that.
Whilst attempting to teach Parn some technique with the blade, Ghim gets the single best line of the episode when he comments that Parn can't even kill time. This is when Deedlit introduces herself before various and sundry rude characters crash the party.
Further gate crashers in the form of the local constabulary then end the party, and promptly dump the heroes in the clink where they meet the final member of the party Woodchuck. It is at this point that our heroes find out that there's an invasion happening.
Marmo's Captain of the Royal Guard Ashram is leading the way for Emperor Beld with the mostly unwanted assistance of Karla the Grey Witch.
Ashram, the eponymous Black Knight
of the episode, is one of the coolest bad guys in the series but there are flaws in how he presents in this episode.
In the meantime the return of Captain Jebra and Etoh's good works as a Priest of Falis secure the release of all but Woodchuck. More training (ie: butt kicking) of Parn ensues.
In short order Ashram and Karla arrive at the fortress. Mayhem but no hilarity ensue.
As the fortress falls the wounded Captain Jebra sends the party on to Valis whilst he challenges Ashram.
This is the sequence meant to establish Ashram as the badass
to beat but it is flawed on two levels.
First, where did Ashram's army go? They were just there a second ago...
Second, facing a seriously wounded opponent really isn't a good test. More of a Curb Stomp
It does work at establishing a reason for Parn to hate Ashram but that's about it.
To be honest I'm probably being overcritical: this is still a good episode to watch, and Ashram's general style is established well enough to impress.
*Because there's always
a dark empire. :)
Day 1 - Prologue to the Legend
Day 2 - Blazing Departure
Day 3 - The Gender of Lodoss War
Day 4 - The Black Knight
Day 5 - The Grey Witch
Day 6 -
Day 7 - The Desert King
Day 8 - The Sword of the Dark Emperor
Day 9 -
Day 10 - The War of Heroes
Day 11 - Requiem for Warriors
Day 12 -
Day 13 - The Scepter of Domination
Day 14 - The Demon Dragon of Fire Dragon Mountain
Day 15 -
Day 16 - The Wizard's Ambition
Day 17 - Final Battle! Marmo, the Dark Island
Day 18 -
Day 19 - Lodoss, The Burning Continent
Day 20 -