A pretty ‘tame’ episode, not even the battle scenes were that high tense. We get to see a little of Ludmilla’s softer side, and she drinks her tea like an Orussian, with a little bit of jam. She also has long hair when she doesn’t have it up in braids.
Lim and Elen are relaxing in a bath, Lim having been healed. Elen though feels a little miffed to have been helped by Ludmilla, but also notes that due to Tigre’s actions in saving Lim, she’s given him a reward. In the next bath over, the aforementioned marksman walks into Ludmilla in the bath, and after apologizing to the Vanadis for walking on her, gets knocked out by her.
Afterwards, Elen teases Ludmilla with food, Lim thinks its childish, while Tigre offers her a way out by considering the food he offered (after she had already said she wouldn’t eat from a food stall) as an apology for the earlier transgression. But that was all there was, that she saw him as a kind person.
When Ludmilla walks away, Elen orders Lim to strengthen the border patrol, and just as she predicted, Ludmilla had amassed a large force near the border with Elen’s lands. While she has nothing to gain for fighting Elen, it was a request from her benefactor, Duke Thernardier. Leaving the decision to Tigre, he decides to send an envoy to Ludmilla, who rejected it.
Ludmilla states that the collusion between the House of Lourie and Thernardier has gone on for 80 years, and she doesn’t intend for it to end on her watch. A battle at Blycolin Pass ended without any conclusion to either side, though Tigre was able to show off his skills with the bow.
Tigre states in an after-action meeting that Ludmilla’s forces are tough. Elen and Lim explain that the Vanadis of Leitmeritz (Elen), and of Olmutz (Ludmilla), had historically been at odds with each other, especially with Olmutz, who unlike other Vanadis, was a hereditary title since the Dragon Tool chooses from the Lourie family rather than randomly like the others. Intending to defeat Ludmilla, Elen will fight at the front in the upcoming battle, though Lim states the last time they fought, it was a draw even if both sides claimed victory.
The next day, it seemed that Ludmilla had run off from the field and holed themselves up at a castle leading the battle to be a stalemate between the fierce defense of Ludmilla’s forces, and the fierce offense of Elen’s forces. Once again later that night, Lim asks Elen not to do anything brash that’ll get her killed. Elen turns to Tigre, who states he respects her but doesn’t want her to do anything brash, saying his loyalty is to her and Alsace. Asking if he has any ideas, he indeed has one.
Sneaking up on the fortress wearing a bear’s skin (given to him by Lim who states that a village uses it for hunting and with it he won’t raise suspicion), he shoots a fox for food, only to encounter Ludmilla who had also shot the fox (no doubt when it was thrashing). Not recognizing Tigre due to his disguise, he at first doesn’t believe his skill with the bow until he shows it off.
At a camp later that night, Ludmilla asks why he won’t remove the bear-skin, and Tigre makes up a story, more or less repeating Lim’s story and giving her the name Urs. Asking him to serve her, he states that he came from a faraway place, and doesn’t intend to leave his homeland. Asking her if she wonders If he was a spy or not, she passes it off, thinking it was funny.
Serving him tea, Tigre manages to see a different side to Ludmilla, that of a smiling person, rather than the cold and duty-bound Vanadis. She came out to have some fun, and Urs/Tigre asks her to let loose with what was on her mind. She more or less states that due to her pride, she had to team up with people she hated. As they parted ways the next morning, Tigre follows her tracks to the rear of the Citadel.
Elen and Tigre would lead a force to the rear, and while Elen’s sword couldn’t destroy the thick gates of the Citadel (without being used as a pin cushion by the enemy archers), Tigre asks for help from Arifar, and together with his Black Bow, busts down the gates of the Citadel and allowing the strike force into the impenetrable fortress.
Although mixed in with the strike force, a familiar tattoo is seen on one of the soldiers.
I think AhoiZ, the person who made the WoT music and voice mods for me, would want to be served tea by Ludmilla. The episode was a nice look at duty and pride, and doing what is expected of you, rather than what is right. Ludmilla is torn between her duties as a member of House Lourie, doing a request by House Thernardier. She’s proud of her lineage, whereas Eleonora was chosen by Arifar randomly, Ludmilla’s Dragon Tool is handed down from generation to generation.
In all, it seems pretty tame as most of it was spent either on the initial siege. The part where Ludmilla finally opens up to Urz (Tigre in disguise) was a little heartwarming. A sense that she just wants to be as carefree as she wants. No doubt this is one of her little deep seethed jealousy, or annoyance with Elen, who is more free with her actions.