Thank you, Prime. I love ya cuz you keep me honest :).
I'm going to do some revisions to the tale's script as a whole -- if you don't mind, I'd love if I could send you the revisions for commentary. Thanks for makong me aware of your concerns regarding Karel's characterization, and hopefully I can use this to strengthen the storytelling as a whole.
Specifically, I think that Karel is at least aware enough to recognize an insurmountable(ish) challenge (once the Runesword goes back to Str/2 and Kaherdin gets a result boost, lol), which would create cognitive dissonance which, if portrayed correctly, could be as psychologically damaging as an outright loss.