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Author Topic: The Last War  (Read 145696 times)

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Offline POG

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #600 on: March 06, 2006, 08:52:37 PM »
Rory let his brother sleep for another hour, which was just enough to let him know how much sleep he was missing.

"Gates!"  Baldwin swore, wiping at the sleep in his eyes.  He stumbled to his feet and was quickly filled in on the group's plan.  He salvaged a few pieces of armor from the slain knights.  With his disguise complete he placed Arthur gently atop Tigra.  Worry arose in his mind concerning the smaller man's condition.  They had their differences but Balwin had become fond of Arthur regardless.  He pushed his worries aside and turned his attention to the matter at hand.

The group made their was slowly through the the trees that seemed to hungrilly devour the warmth of the midday sun in an attempt to banish the visions of death and blood of the previous night.  It was as if a shadow had been lifted from the woods but for those who were attuned, such as Rory, the stirrings had not subsided.  All was not right in these woods and would not be for quite sometime.  There was a feeling, one that had been felt before the attack, of a calm before an impending storm.

There footfalls took them to a path leading towards the city.  They walked in silence lost in their own thoughts which invariably turned towards Tantus and how they would do whatever they must to save him. 

"Riders.  A group of twenty.  Coming this way at speed."  Rory's voice came from far away as he fell deeply within himself.  He kept his head bowed presenting a spiky bush of white hair that hid eyes may have given away much if the soldiers were given a chance to stare too deeply into them.  The others could hear the creak of leather and the jangle of tack and armor as the soldiers came into view around the bend.

Well, thought Baldwin, stepping forward.  It was time to test their disguises...
« Last Edit: March 06, 2006, 08:55:00 PM by POG »
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
The Ares Chronicles

Offline Dream

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #601 on: March 06, 2006, 09:34:22 PM »
Somehow, Grumple knew the plan depended in large part on him and Baldwin appearing to be knights; friendly to the Emperor and the Legion.  Not that Grumple knew what the Legion was -- let alone the Emperor.  But, there was Hol-lee in front with Roar-ree with ropes on their hands.  They were the bait.  Grumple and Bald-man and the smart-mouth horse were the hook.  Little Man was, well, Grumple didn't know how Little Man fit it.

Grumple walked along beside the smart-mouth horse, and thought about Little Man.  Grumple had saved him once, and Little Man had saved Hol-lee.  Deep in the hollow recesses of the simple but surprisingly flexible lump of material called a Troll's Brain Grumple knew he could not protect all this sudden number of new friends.  Little Man was important, terribly important, but Grumple knew he could not protect everyone in the next hour.

Somewhere in those dark and hollow recesses, Grumple knew he had once again found life and a reason for living.  Long gone after the wizard (what was his name again?) and the little girl Elwina had been lost.  So long ago.  Back when Grumple had lost all.  Now, after so many years, Grumple had new friends -- and so many!  Grumple wondered if he could get to Tantus in time, and his strength rose mightily with his anger. 

"Rocks and Bones Crush All Who Hurt Grumple's Friends!" he thought. 

Not knowing anything better, Grumple reached up from walking alongside the horse and handed Little Man the Ironwood club.  Little Man might need it.  Hard times were coming.

Grumple knew it was not enough.  He gripped his axe with such strength that it left grooves in the metal shaft.  But more than strength was needed.

Strong and Powerful Magic Words were needed.
 
He thought.  His brain positively throbbed.
This was hard.
 
There... there were the Magic Words...  As he had been taught years ago.

He ground them out, as best as he could, to Arthur...

"Thhaaank  Youuu."

"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Dream

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #602 on: March 06, 2006, 10:06:13 PM »
2nd and 3rd Dekms came wheeling around from the plain around the north-west side of Halbad, keeping a safe distance from the woods.  They formed up in an overlapping crescent that partially surrounded the group of heroes just out of bow shot.  Lieutenant Abraxos held up a mailed fist to signal a stop to his men, and called out, "How goes the battle?!"

Baldwin, matching the Lieutenant's tone, replied loudly, "Prisoners for the Emperor!"

Lieutenant Abraxos blinked.  There was something strangely... fuzzy... about the group that was approaching Halbad.  He squinted and frowned.  There was a horse.  Clearly a large and powerful horse, with what seemed to be a civilian on its back.  A blonde woman and a white haired man were prisoners.  Two powerful knights of the Order of the Royal Mark were on foot.  Nothing felt wrong, but something looked wrong.  He couldn't quite FOCUS on them.   Abraxos flipped up his visor and rubbed his eyes.  It was like a bit of haze, of indefinable fog, that surrounded the group.

Uh, oh.  Time's up.  The men of the Black Hand were looking at him.  They did that too often.  Lieutenant Abraxos had received his commission because he was the nephew of a High Councilman, and his men knew it.  In turn, he knew he needed to appear decisive, or they wouldn't respect him.

"Take the prisoners to the Centurion!" he ordered.  "2nd Dekm flank left!"  "3rd Dekm flank right!"

The two groups of 10 cavalry trotted off to either side of the "knights" and their "prisoners", and the entire group advanced through the north gate of Halbad, between the poles and the piles of rubble back into the city while dozens of other onlookers rubbed their eyes and stared at the victorious Knights of the Order of the Royal Mark.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Nobody

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #603 on: March 06, 2006, 10:51:31 PM »
Kethal was not with the two knights and the prisoners. Instead, she was making her way straight to the place that had been specified. There was more than one way to put out a fire. Kethal knew the surest way for her to get by an army of men...

Move.

Only moments into the city, she had her own personal escort of enamoured men. It was a wonder the male species survived on such impulses, and yet, Kethal knew that these impulses were beautiful things to be loved admired and cherished. What a horrible thing it would be to be without them. It would be like living in an area that was just flat dirt everywhere. No trees, no flowers, no birds, no wolves, no life at all.

The thought sent a shudder down her spine. Always a mistake among civilization. It took her a solid minute to assure these soldiers that she did not need the plethora of jackets, cloaks, capes and other forms of assistance offered to keep her warm.
"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster

Offline Dream

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #604 on: March 07, 2006, 09:53:34 PM »
OCC: "...other forms of assistance offered to keep her warm."  Right.  I'll bet.



IC:  Inside the castle in Halbad, a finger twitched.  Slightly.  A broken fingernail scraped feebly across the stone floor.  An eyelid fluttered, and with difficulty, opened.  In the stony gloom, an eye saw, dimly.  "I'm alive..."

Lord Belzar was, but only barely.  Slowly, so slowly the memory returned with his consciousness.  With strength of will alone he commanded the drained flesh to move, to cause the hand to form a gesture.  A simple gesture, one practiced thousands of times.

Lord Belzar summoned a cold cup of water from the river.  The distance didn't matter, but he was so weak that he needed to allow an equivalent weight of sand on the stone floor to transfer to the river in exchange for the precious liquid.  The sand swirled into the flowing stream and settled to the bottom.  Ounce for ounce, dram for dram, the water came to him so there was almost no effort on his part.  The cup was simultaneously drawn from one in the kitchen elsewhere in the castle, and a small pile of sand was mysteriously left there as well.

Almost no effort.  Even so, it took nearly all his strength.  With trembling grasp, trying to control the quivering muscles in his bony fingers, he lifted the cup to his parched, cracked lips.  And drank.  Such a simple act, yet so critical, so deep and full of meaning.  Lord Belzar drank water like any other living creature... and therefore lived.

His thoughts came back, swirling like the sand settling in the water over a mile away... swirling, settling.  He looked around.  The demons were gone.  How long had he been unconscious?  What had the demons done to him to leave him like this?

Slowly, Lord Belzar clawed to the cold damp stone wall, and heaved himself into a sitting position.  His legs would not work.  His hands were gaunt, bony, meatless sticks.  Nearly useless.  What had they done?

Another cup of water.  As a bit of strength returned, Belzar swapped a piece of cloth from his robe to make it easier to summon a healing potion from one of his lairs far, far away.  Again, the distance mattered but little.  The exchange of personal effects made it easier to acquire the potion stored for just such an eventuality.

He drank its bitter contents carefully, wasting not a drop.  Some strength returned, radiating slowly through his aching bones.  It worked to some degree... but not enough.  Something was wrong.   What HAD those demons done?!

Sitting on the cold stone floor of a hidden room in a besieged castle, the once-mighty Lord Belzar pondered his next move.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline POG

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #605 on: March 08, 2006, 01:27:29 AM »
The ring of armed warriors closed in a deadly ring of steel and sinew.  Baldwin was sweating profusely beneath the battered helm he wore.  He prefered direct confrontation, such subterfuge was the domain of Rory or even better Dugal.  His heart was in his throat as the group approached the southern gate of the city.  Two men who were lounging at the gate rose and strode forward at their approach.  Chain mail shirts peeked out from black tunics.  Arms thick with sinew were visible and ran into black gloves.  The men looked to be cut from the same cloth.  Icy blue eyes stared flatly at the group from faces scarred by countless battles.  The two, twins now that Baldwin took a closer look, strode towards them with slow powerful strides.  Their movments seemed slow and langourous, like large cats on the hunt.  The helms atop their heads, upon close inspection bore the device of a wolf etched in silver.  Gloved hands rested lightly on the hilts of broadswords in scabbards wound about with leather cord.

"Who seeks entrance to speak..."  The one on the right began, his voice a deep bass rumble.

"With the Centurion?"  The other finished with a gimlet stare.

Baldwin stepped forward voice filled with bravado,  "Knights of the Royal Mark with Prisoners!"  He stepped in front of one of the twins.  The man was a head taller than him.  "Stand aside in the presence of your betters!"

The was a long period of silence as the two looked at each other.  Baldwin felt himself being weighed and measured by the other.  The tension was electric as the moments dragged by interminably.  The twin saw something in the smaller man's stance, the way he was at ease with his weapons.

"Follow us."  This intoned in unison.  To Baldwin the command had the air of a funeral bell about it.

The twins turned and led them through the open maw of the city gate...
« Last Edit: March 09, 2006, 07:35:03 PM by POG »
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
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Offline Nobody

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #606 on: March 08, 2006, 08:38:30 AM »
1) POG, I am confused. There are several things that I would like to bring up.

2) Isn't the group going to the secret entrance Holly Used and not the castle gate?

3) Is the emporer in Halbad?

4) Isn't the castle still under the control of the King of Halbad?
« Last Edit: March 08, 2006, 09:09:09 AM by Nobody »
"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster

Offline Nobody

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #607 on: March 09, 2006, 07:57:52 AM »
Centurian FellStrom may have taken the City of Halbad, but the Castle in Halbad is locked up with the King safely inside. The King of Halbad is still in control of the Castle, as well as the rest of the Halbad Army, all inside the castle.

Further, with the Legion wanting to take the castle, the King will not be opening the gate any time soon.
"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster

Offline POG

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #608 on: March 09, 2006, 07:37:59 PM »
OOC:  Nobody,

You weren't confused I was confused.  My revised post should make sense now.  The group's armed escort will attempt to bring them to the Legion's base of military operations in Halbad, while the group wants to go to the castle and save Tantus...

I think that clears things up.  If it does play on.  If not lemme know.

POG
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
The Ares Chronicles

Offline Dream

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #609 on: March 09, 2006, 09:27:49 PM »
OCC:  If I may add, the Emperor, to date, has never shown up in this thread.  Anyone who wants to whip up a backstory for him (her? it?) can do so.  I won't complain.

Callista's post indicated Holly knows a way into the castle, and Tigra wanted to get into the city.  I don't know if Holly's way led from outside the city into the castle or inside the city into the castle, but we're pretty much all inside the city gates now!

FellStrom's base is the manor houses near the closed castle gates, in city centre.

POG, when convenient, could you let us know if there is any magic protecting our little group (other than Grumple's boots, and the "fog" I assumed clung to us to help obscure our true identities; particularly Grumple's hunched appearance?)

Apparently Kethal doesn't need magic to walk about rather freely.  Must be her clipboard and purposeful stride that does it for her.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Dream

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #610 on: March 09, 2006, 09:51:33 PM »
Grumple tried very, very hard to be nice and just walk along beside the smart-mouth horse.  All the time, Grumple wanted to run ahead and smash and bash and crush bad men and get to Tantus and save the gentle bugbear that had saved him only last week. 

But Grumple held back, and tried to walk like a man, without so much clumping and bow-legged swaying and especially without lots of shambling, which was, by the way, another of those things Grumple did really, really well.

So far it was working.  Grumple even remembered not drag his axe behind him.  Looking down at his feet as he walked, Grumple noticed his "boots" even made a highly satisfying hob-nailed boot-like sound on the cobblestones with each step, and looked good at that.

Still, Grumple couldn't help but think about how much more satisfying it would be to grab the two big men up in front walking so proud and all and smash their heads together like melons and see the brains spray around... Thick gray-green troll muscles tensed and knotted up in his powerful arms... It would be so easy...

...but of course you know Grumple was much too nice for that sort of thing, and just kept walking.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline POG

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #611 on: March 09, 2006, 10:51:22 PM »
OOC:  No magik other than the convienent fog.  Nice touch by the way :wink:  It's up to our characters wits to get out of this one.  As a side note Dream did you realize that I hit 200 posts and you hit 300 simultaneously.  Cool eh?
Check your PM's

IC:  The twins commanded a healthy dose of respect and fear as evidenced by the quick steps by the soldiers moving from the group's path as they came closer to the manor centurion Fellstrom had taken over for his headquarters.  The soldiers here were better armed and in a higher state of readiness than the troops outside of the walls and closer to the city gate.  Armor and weapons were highly polished.  Horses were well tended and cared for. 

Baldwin's mind raced.  The group was getting closer to Fellstorm and further from where they needed to be.  His musing was interupted by a small metal cup, flying through the air, that struck one of the twins in the back of the head with a metallic clang.

The twin spun, eyes scanning the crowd for the transgressor.  "Who dares?"  His voice was a feral growl, dripping with menace.  A knot of soldiers a short distance away sat eating their noonday meal.  One of them looked at the cup, on the ground, wide eyed, as if it had betrayed him.  Rory hid his smirk by bowing his head lower.  The twin was upon the soldier in three loping strides, snatching the hapless man off his feet.  The soldier's fellows scattered.  Just then the cook fire exploded into a geyser of blue flame...
« Last Edit: March 09, 2006, 10:56:09 PM by POG »
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
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Offline Nobody

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #612 on: March 10, 2006, 10:23:59 AM »


It was the dark of night. Arthur woke up to the sound of a woman’s scream. He did not know where it had come from but he knew that she needed help.

He jumped out of his bed, and grabbed his bag of things. The door to his room was open, although he did not notice it as he rushed out into the hallway, listening intently for a sound, any sound.

Again, the scream. It came from downstairs this time. He rushed down the stairs and into the main room of the tavern.

He heard the pound of running footsteps from the kitchen, and he rushed through the doors to see the back door closing as three men exited quickly. The men, however, were not what caught his attention. It was Sarah. She was covered in blood, and Lacerations covered her face, hands and body.

“Help Me!” she said in a raspy voice that was almost a whisper, barely audible to the human ear.

He rushed over in a moment, and touching his hand to her forehead, loosed his weaves, like a thousand threads in perfect unison.

But the Pattern did not form, and no weaves came out. He stopped. Tried again, still nothing. He checked for his book frantically. It was not there. He scrambled around looking for it. It was not there.

“Help Me!!” she rasped again.

His hands trembled as he tried to think what to do. He grabbed her, and lifted her up as carefully as possible.

Then he ran. He ran out the door into the city streets of Medon. He had to find a doctor. He couldn't heal her, but somebody else could.

Frantically, he searched through the city streets for the Doctors house. He knew where it was. It was close, he could get there in time.

His foot caught on a rock and he fell. Sarah, she fell through the air, and landed hard on the ground. She screamed with the pain as inertia dragged her harshly on the dirt road, grinding rocks and pebbles into her wounds and lacerations.

Arthur shook violently with the scream. It shook the foundations of his very soul. His hands, covered in blood, shook with violent tremors.

He managed to get up. He picked her up, or tried to. She was impossibly heavy this time. She was dying this time. He tried to pick her up. The Doctor's house was right there. If he could only get her there.

"No, no no no no, no no please, please don't die! I need you, I need you please live!" Arthur said in a frantic voice.

He tried lifting her again, but a foot off of the ground she fell from his trembling hands. She made no scream this time.

Daylight poured through Arthur's eyes a moment before he was slammed into the ground by the gravity from his fall, landing harshly next to Tigra. The wind was immediately expelled from his lungs. It was a good cover for his trembling form.

OOC: I will leave it to you all as to what actions he made through the dream, and what he said.
"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster

Offline POG

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #613 on: March 10, 2006, 12:39:43 PM »
"No, no no no no, no no please, please don't die! I need you, I need you please live!" Arthur said in a frantic voice.
 and then he fell of the horse heavily.  Blue flames soared skyward, to bright to look at directly even in the noonday sun.  Baldwin drew Final Judgment with an icy rasp and ran towards the other twin with short sure steps that rang out against the hard ground.  The twin flinched and moved sideways avoiding the glowing rune scribed blade.  He moved towards Baldwin like water.  Baldwin swung at a head that wasn't there anymore as the twin dropped.  Baldwin swung twice more and the twin rolled under the flashing blade.  The twin moved with speed and grace that seemed nigh impossible for someone as large as he. 

The man hadn't even drawn his sword. 

Standing up in a fluid motion the twin brushed his tunic off as his brother threw the soldier he held about ten yards away and turned to face Baldwin and the others...
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
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Offline POG

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #614 on: March 10, 2006, 12:49:32 PM »
Just then the blue flames went out and the area was plunged into darkness.  The bright sun did not penetrate the sphere of black that Rory had conjured.  The soldiers already milling about in the commotion crashed into one another in haste and confusion, men cried out.  Baldwin heard Rory's voice through the din.  "You are not a match for one of these twins much less two."  Rory had seen his brother fight and had seen countless men fall beneath his sword and the display he had just seen was unsettling.  These twins were different.

He yelled to his brother and the others, "Run! Run!" and set off at a sprint through the darkness.

OOC:  The darkness covers a twenty yard area.  Then you're on your own.
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
The Ares Chronicles

Offline Scrasamax

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #615 on: March 10, 2006, 04:18:05 PM »
"They come," A voice said, soft as the spring breezes that came across the wheat fields of the old monastary. Tantus nodded, or imagined that he nodded. In truth, he merely made a weak grunting noise and twitched his head a bit. Damar had not used an implement in over an hour, nothing seemed to have any effect. The bugbear simply continued to mutter to itself, sometimes a quip of scripture, othertimes a scrap of an old monks hymn. A second ago, however, the creature had parted its broken lips and whispered 'they come.'

Not a superstitious man by nature, Damar was unnerved by the proclamation. It was not hard to understand, seeing as the city had been assaulted by a mortal army, innundated with a storm of half foot demons, and then besieged by the undead. All in the span of a few days.

"Do you have a quill, Damar, son of Dohar?" the bugbear asked. Damar flinched like he had been hit. The steel bar he held rang off of the stonework of the floor when he dropped it in surprise.

"How did you know..." the newly appointed Royal Inquisitor asked?

"Damar, son of Dohar, son of Duhuz there is very little that I do not know." Tantus said in a voice that was not entirely his own. Already fresh blood was running down his chin and splattering on the stone floor. "Know only that I speak the truth of what was and the truth of what has yet to come." Daunted, the soldier grabbed the nearest utensils for such purposes, a battered scroll of false confessions, and a steel tipped feather.

"I...I have one..." he said hesitantly.

"Your doom is nigh. The time of Halbad has come and the Judgement is to sound. The bell of the Heavens shall ring thrice and the walls of the keep shall fall. The hand of the wicked shall be bent and broken by the hand of the righteous. The blood of the king shall draw the blood of the king, and cleanse the poison therein. Know these words to be true, Last son of the blood of Ehaz of the Broken Sword." Tantus said in a resounding voice that seemed to emanate from the very air itself rather than from his broken jaw and bruised throat.

"The music has not ended, it has merely entered the intermission..." Tantus said in a whisper, his own voice now. He again began to hum the quatraines of the Hymn of the Faith
" If the muse comes to your bedside, don’t tell her you’ll f?$! her later."- Allen Ginsberg

Offline Dream

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #616 on: March 10, 2006, 09:31:40 PM »
Speed and Grace.  Grumple had some of one and none of the other.  He needed neither.

When the darkness fell like a flying wad of Tar-Dragon Snot, Grumple knew it was trouble.  He heard the keening sound as Bald-man drew his sword.  That was bad.  Grumple hoped they would get nearer the Castle gates where he could climb up.  Always could climb up.  Not now.

Now, there was a fight.  Little man fell down.  Bump.  Grumple grabbed him when he hit the ground and slapped him back up on the horse; pressed him into the saddle.  Horse was so smart, maybe horse could figure out how to get him out of there.

In the blackness, Grumple lurched forward ahead of Bald-man, holding the large battle-axe in one hand, feeling with the other.  He hit something.  Something Big.  Then, something Big hit Grumple!  Really big.  A fist, it seemed, in Grumple's neck.   And it hurt!

With a snarl of rage, the knotted coils of muscle in Grumple's arms exploded in pent-up fury.  He lunged forward with arms spread to grab and rend and shred the Big Thing. 

He missed.  Grumple felt the hand come up and skillfully leverage his movement to one side, while a brawny knee came up and caught him squarely in the groin.  Then two fists knit together came down with the force of a falling tree on the back of the troll's head.  Grumple fell.

But, the Big Man had made a mistake.
 
Actually, two mistakes:

1)  Don't kick a troll in the groin.  Trolls lack, well, let's just say in grammatical terms that trolls lack certain "definite articles" that might otherwise make a knee in the groin a story worth writing about.

2)  Don't club a troll in the head.  But you already knew that, so we'll just skip that lesson.

In the darkness, Grumple fell, but hit on his side and rolled to his back.  As he did, he swung the battle axe backhand in a wide arc up and to the side where the Twin had been.  This was surprisingly fast, and very unexpected.  Still, the man somehow managed to get one foot over the flailing blade, but the other foot was snagged on the wicked hook that pointed down.  In turn, he fell backward.

Grumple heard the 'zinggg' of a sword being drawn, impossibly fast, before the man hit the ground with a 'clump' and a jangle of chain mail.  Not waiting to recover his axe from the round-house swing, Grumple sprang up and jumped fully at the sound of the enormous man who was already partly to his feet.  The sword penetrated Grumple's chain mail under his rib cage and sliced his side, but Grumple didn't care.  He wrapped his mighty hands around the neck of the man and started to squeeze... That's...  it...  Just...  Squeeeeze. 

With awesome power, the man slammed the heel of his left hand under Grumple's chin and started to force the troll's head back and away.  Grumple tasted the blood from his tongue as the end was cut off between his knobby teeth; felt the sword pull free from his side to strike again.  The man's neck should have broken by now, but it was like oak.

Grimly, he squeezed harder, clamping like an iron vise around the chain mail protecting the Big Man's neck.  Grumple could feel the interlocking rings of steel crumpling under his grip.  Scrambling like a squirrel up a tree, Grumple's feet clawed up the man's legs and wrapped around his waist.  Both fell over with a heavy "Thump!" and rolled around.  The Twin tried to bring his sword around to Grumple's neck, but missed and only took off the tip of his nose.  Still holding Grumple's head at one arm's length, the man drew back for another stab.

Face to face in the Stygian black of enchanted darkness, in the silence of total concentration, two incredibly powerful beings grappled for their lives.
 
 


OCC:  Hang on, Tantus!  Grumple's comin' to help!  (If he can get away from this guy...)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2006, 10:00:32 PM by Dream »
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Dream

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #617 on: March 10, 2006, 09:48:07 PM »
The 4th level minion, Voramis, knelt over the dessicated husk that was once the Summoner, Lord Belzar.  The forces that held the spiders in a single human form were diminished, but held together because they were based on a power that did not fully depend on the wizard's personal strength.

"My Lord," hissed the Kras-minion.  "You have brought me here.  What is your will?"

Belzar spoke weakly.  "Bring me some young person.  Anyone.  Now.  I must revive myself."

Voramis stood up, and put out his arms.  The folds of cloth covering them churned and twisted as thousands of tiny creatures crawled within.  He reached out to others, others within the castle, others near and far who saw everything with eight eyes apiece.  Searching for someone who could help his master.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #618 on: March 11, 2006, 03:09:58 AM »
"Sun and Rain!" Rory spat revealing his position, but he cared not.  As the summoner of the Black he alone had vision.  The second Twin rushed towards Baldwin in the dark.  Baldwin swung downward with Final Judgment.  The sword struck the Twin full in the wolf scribed helm.  Sparks flew.  The Twin was illumed by the light thrown by the sword and in that moment Rory saw his true nature, just for a moment.  He repressed an involuntary shudder as he threw a spinning weave that sliced sideways.

The Twin staggered under the mighty blow Baldwin had dealt him and righted himself just as the weave caught him in his midsecton.  Rory grunted.  Metal chain splintered like glass as the spinning magik sliced into the Twin's torso.  Dark blood flew in thick ropy arcs.  A feral growl escaped from the Twin's throat as he lunged forward swinging his hands like claws.  Rory quickly threw up a shield in front of himself.  The twin crashed into the barrier which flared with a blue light as it expended electrical energy into him. smoke rose from his torso as he was slammed into the ground back first.

Baldwin floundered in the midst of the Black, unable to see.  Rory was near the limit of his strength.  "What the..."  He looked at Grumple locked in a deadly embrace with the other Twin.  He ran towards them as they spun on the ground.  He ripped the long knife from its sheath on his waist and stabbed at the Twin three times.  The first two blows were turned by stout chainmail links.  The third blow caught the Twin where his mail shirt and bared flesh began.  The silver blade slid between bone to find vunerable flesh.  The Twin let forth a deafening howl that could be heard for miles and disengaged from Grumple, slicing open the front of Rory's tunic with a clawed hand.  The Wilder's blood flew as he spun to the ground. 

The darkness lifted as suddenly as it came.  Baldwin snatched his brother up and ran down an alley choked with refuse and debris.  Soldiers ran about, naked blades in hand, trying to make sense of what had happened.

Grumple, freed of his opponent, used all of the Troll sense he could muster and followed the brothers down the alley.  Baldwin tossed aside the battered helm and half carried, half pushed his brother over the wall at the alley's far end as rats scurried about.

Where had Holly and Tigra got to in the commotion?  What had become of Arthur?...
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
The Ares Chronicles

Offline Dream

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #619 on: March 11, 2006, 09:07:02 PM »
"Bad men following."  Grumple thought, then realized he could see.  "Dark gone.  Good." 

(In spite of what you might have heard, trolls really don't like Tar-Dragon snot.  Doesn't taste nearly as good as it sounds.)

Grumple saw Bald-man shove Roar-ree over the wall, then struggle to climb up.  No problem there.  Grumple shoved Bald-man over the wall, too, with little effort. 

Actually, a little effort would have been a good idea.  Bald-man practically flew over the wall, but at least he was over.  (He didn't sound like he liked flying very much.  Or landing.  From the sound of it, he liked the landing part even less.)

Like a very large and exceptionally warty toad, Grumple hopped up and quickly scrambled over.  Good thing, too.  A volley of arrows imbedded themselves into the wall beneath him with multiple "thunk"s.  Grumple fell.

"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #620 on: March 11, 2006, 09:32:35 PM »
Eric Rightorn had a future.  He was a Page to the Royal Family of Halbad, and was safe in the Castle.  As safe as anywhere in the land, even with the enemy Legion with the city outside.  He had been assured that when the Legion attacked the Castle, it would be long before they broke through.  Much could happen to prevent their victory.

More than likely, a truce would be called in times like these.  Eric had read about such in the scrolls.  Deals would be made.  There would be tribute paid and the occupying forces would need young men who could read the records and serve the new order.  Eric might expect to live, and live well.

These thoughts occupied his mind as he strode through the stone hallway that ran under the West Tower.  Then, he felt something wrong.  A wispy, almost vaporous sensation on his face.  He waved the scrolls in his right hand in front of his face.  Spider webs!  Many of them.

Suppressing a small wave of involuntary disgust, Eric walked a few more steps, and stopped.  The webs were falling down, from the ceiling, thicker and thicker.  He waved more wildly at them as they clung to his face and hands.  His fingers were becoming sticky, like ghostly whitish gloves forming and thickening.

With fear rising, he turned to run back... and saw a horrible mass of spiders flowing like a fuzzy black carpet toward him from the way he had come.  The fuzz welled upward like a lump, then started forming into an impossible shape.

It was forming into... a man.  Churning and undulating, a thousand thousand blacks and browns and colored spots, with eight thousand thousand microscopic glinting eyes.  All looking at him as it rushed forward.

Eric screamed and turned into an opening in the stone wall, one he had not noticed before.  He ran into the room and fell over something.  A body.  A shriveled husk of a corpse sitting on the ground with its back to the wall.  Eric got to his knees still clutching the precious scrolls and found himself face to face with the corpse.

Horribly, it blinked and grinned at him, like the face of Evil Itself.  That was Eric's last thought.  He fainted and fell heavily onto the stone floor; the scrolls still stuck to his hands.

"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #621 on: March 11, 2006, 10:35:54 PM »
As Baldwin and Rory went over the wall, they saw Odat, stubling about in a drunken stupor. The usual smell of alchohol poured from every possible pore in his body. The difference this time, was that he was wearing the Diamond Star of Valor, the highest possible award available to a civillian.

He was covered in blood stains, both new and old blood, and there was a visible scar that went from just below his eye, through his hair, to the back of his head. Still, He looked like he was in pretty good shape...for a man who could barely stand.

As usual, he was drinking from a flask, and it was somewhat obvious from the way that his constant staggering always seemed to veer to a single side, that only half of his "Rations" were gone. If anything, he was more drunk than usual.
"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #622 on: March 11, 2006, 11:04:26 PM »
Arthur's hands still shook slightly with the fall-out from his dreams. It was obvious that the rest of the party had left him. It was obvious why. They did not trust him. Well that was fine, he had never really trusted them anyway. With the city under Legion control, there would be lots of need of his expertise. He could make a real name for himself.

Only one thing held him. Kethal. If he let them leave without him, she would think that he was the coward, not them. He had to prove to her that it was they who betrayed him. He did not know where the secret entrance to the castle was that they were all going to meet at, but he knew of another one that he intended to reach. With a little luck, He could reach them in time, and prove himself to her

_________________________________________________ _________________________

As Arthur rode the stolen horse at a fast trot, it weighed in on him the gravity of what he had just done. If he was caught a horse thief, he would die without question, and in a city filled with soldiers, he could think of no more probable place.

As the horse-shoes rank against the cobblestones of the city streets, he fingered the clasp around his neck, the one from the mangled woman. A recently aquired gold ring sat on the hand around the horses bridle. He never would have taken the ring at all if it had not been for the clasp. As soon as he saw it, he was drawn to it. It spoke to him. He coveted it for his own, and took it for his own. The ring had been an afterthought.

He had of course checked them both for magic, but neither one was enchanted.

_________________________________________________ ________________________-

Meanwhile, Kethal had managed to get rid of the men with a small contest for her favor. The first one to bring her back a Zedophan's Twilight, a particularily rare and beautiful flower, would recieve her favor. The small distraction had given her plenty of time to slip into the secret entrance.

She opened the doors to the tunnel, but did not step in. Kethal could taste the lack of air inside...

Better to wait for the others who would be along shortly. Maybe this was the wrong tunnel. Maybe it led to nowhere. Surely a royal passage would have to be bigger than this. If she went in, the others might miss her. She didn't want that. In fact, she better wait outside. What if this was the wrong house? She would never see them if they passed it by.

Stepping out into the city streets again, she breathed in a great sigh of relief. She missed the woods so much right now.

"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #623 on: March 11, 2006, 11:45:31 PM »
Rory grinned wildy at seeing Odat.  "You scamp, you owe me a game of stones."  He said playfully, grimicing through the pain of the wounds across his chest and stomach.  "I'll take your money later."  He gently took the flask Odat was holding, "With your permission."  He gestured, and took a strong pull of the firey liquid within.  He felt better immediately, although the draught was potent enough to slay a small calf.  He returned the flask with a nod of thanks.

The sound of pounding boots and shouts came from over the wall.  "We've got to move."  The need for subterfuge was over and he felt he was back on familiar ground.  "To the castle."  He led the group down the alley at a brisk pace...
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
The Ares Chronicles

Offline Dream

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Re: The Last War
« Reply #624 on: March 12, 2006, 09:42:58 PM »
The Mighty Lord of the Rictus of Excratian barely had the energy to stand.  Belzar swayed on his feet, but still leered down at the Page-boy who had collapsed at his feet, grayish-white with spider webs.  He drew forth from the many resources available to a prime level mage.  Black candles appeared, made from the fat that dripped off tortured heroes.  Vermillion-swirled stones flew in from caverns deep beneath tombs.  A golden bowl heated to incandescense and quenched in the blood of a newborn princess.  All prepared, all within the knowledge and reach of a Master Summoner.

Unsteadily, he arranged the candles around the muffled form of the boy.  Then, on the cardinal points, the enchanted stones.  Light the candles.  Place the bowl under the neck of the Bringer.  Time was short.

Hungrily, Kras-Minion Voramis leaned forward, and hissed, "My Lord, if we may... just a taste..."

"No.  Get your own." croaked Belzar.  "I need it all.  All of him."

With a glimmer, a jagged knife appeared in his hand, studded with black gems and twisted engravings. 

Eric Richtorn opened his eyes with terror just before the knife fell, and saw the face of Death standing over him.  He struggled against unyielding webs.  There was a sudden pain.  Moments later, the light faded from his eyes.

"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker