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Offline Wogden

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« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2005, 02:49:00 PM »
"Oh... oh. Naturally, you wouldn't want to hand over such a fine sword to a perfect stranger. I see, my good sir. Of course. Silly me." Smeed cleared his throat, embarrassed. It didn't seem that he was making a good impression on these travellers. And he had so wanted to take a look at that sword... Ah, well. He attempted a bow, which turned halfway through into an attempt to stay upright, as it always did. Curse his old age. "Er... Smeed Wenderferns, at your service, sir. Fortune-teller by profession, though do I have some small experience of dealing with magikal items."

Straightening painfully, Smeed coughed and addressed the rest of the travellers. "And who else do I have the pleasure of meeting?" He eyed the man on the ground with envy. It had been ages since he could sleep that soundly...
There is very, very good reason why I believe Life to be a gummy bear, but the exact wording of it escapes me at present. It was something about sugar, anyway.

Offline Dream

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« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2005, 07:12:36 AM »
Pvt. Realen Fox knew he had to close this soon.  It had been a week, and Captain Kraggis was not known for his bountiful patience.  Fox was amazed at the ground this wandering troll had covered.  It also seemed to be rather clever for a stupid brute.  The tracks showed that it stalked, ambushed, and occasionally just ran down its animal prey, but that there was guile and cunning in its movements.

That, and it was wounded.  Here and there were small black pools of its blood where it had laid in wait for a kill.  That was the only thing Fox had at times to make the contact certain.

Finally, while alternately looking for the misshapen footprints and a sudden ambush, Private Fox saw the thing.  And, what he saw was NOT good.  It was bad enough that through the trees he had spotted a Bugbear, but that the wretched troll was sleeping on the ground with his enormous hand clenched around The Tooth.  So it had gotten the spear out, and now carried it.  Definitely not good.  Fortunately, Fox was downwind, or he would have been somebody's lunch by now.  

Well, his job was to track.  Tracking was done.  He was not fool enough to attack the monster alone, even if it was asleep.  It was time to report back to the Captain.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

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« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2005, 04:13:25 PM »
Holly stood and watched this odd scene, "well it seems to me that every one is introducing them selves, i am Holly Mayleaf, i am from Palaten, i am pleased to meet you all, and i feel there will be no need for that sword again, this Bugbear seems simple and docile, i believe that he will not hurt us as long as we do not hurt him" holly had kept herself quiet for quite some time, just listening to the gentle arguments going on in front of her, she had hoped that one person had come by her resting place, and instead of one there was now four others not including herself and another just standing and watching, one on a horse, a very familiar horse, but he rode off before she could say a word of warning to the others, "Tantus, this is your name yes, bring our new comer forward, let him introduce himself!" Holly let herself give Baldwin a sidewards glance, he had acted quickly but did not stop to think of what he was doing, now Rory he seemed to have thought before standing forward and raising a fist or sword, "well we really should have something to eat do you not think, because maybe if the rest of you aren't hungry i am, as long as you do not resent eating in the same place as each other?" she looked carefully round the group of people, and then waited for the other two to come back into the clearing.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Wogden

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« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2005, 05:49:28 PM »
Smeed cocked an eyebrow. The lass was observant indeed, but perhaps a bit too trusting. "Begging your pardon, miss... Mayleaf," he began, "But it's hardly in the nature of a bugbear to be docile... I'll grant, the thing is odd, to be sure. But if it's all the same to you I'd much rather that sword stayed where it was for the time being."

"As to the eating..." he scuffed his feet sheepishly. "I can't truly say as I packed entirely enough food for the trip through the woods. I've never had to leave a town quite as quickly as I left Palaten... accursed soldiers made sure of that..." He lapsed into mumbling, and rummaged half-heartedly in his pack. As he had suspected, he still had a good quantity of bread, but it seemed this Holly was very trusting... Perhaps trusting enough to lend a poor traveler some free provisions.

Smeed straightened, trying to keep a look of deep disappointment hitched onto his face. "It's as I thought," he sighed. "I'm clean out of food. And my last meal was..." Smeed thought for a minute. Too long ago would make it seem an obvious lie, but not long enough and he'd lose the pity he was hoping for. "Why, it must've been since last morning, then," he finished with a pitiful groan. He sat down heavily. "But don't mind me, an old man like myself wouldn't presume to stop you young folks from enjoying your meals on my account..."
There is very, very good reason why I believe Life to be a gummy bear, but the exact wording of it escapes me at present. It was something about sugar, anyway.

Offline Dream

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« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2005, 06:11:09 PM »
Grumple innocently slept, as only a troll can sleep; with horrible snarling, snorts, snores, and roars.  This served as good a protection as any, since precious few attackers would dare approach -- let alone waken -- something that which sounded like a furious Pride of Lions engaged in Mortal Combat with an enraged Pack of Hyenas.

As Grumple (LOUDLY!) slept, Grumple (quietly) healed.  There was a price, of course.  The cruel blade had taken so much of Grumple's life force, and caused so much loss of blood (not to mention some serious tummy upset) that Grumple's body regenerated in the only way it could.  

Grumple shrank.

Many humans, as they draw upon their limited world views, think that  'little' trolls must be 'young' and 'big' trolls are 'old'.  Such is not the case.  Oh, no.  Grumple's misshapen but marvelously efficient body traded precious proteins, fluids, and overall body mass to fill in the terribly damaged parts and festering poisoned places.  Leaving, of course, a generous amount of foul-smelling oozes and goos on the forest floor representing the usual... as well as quite unusual... discarded unhealthy excretions.
...
...
...
Grumple awoke, knowing not When.  Grumple awoke, knowing only that Grumple was ravenously hungry, parched with thirst, and, (if it were possible) even more stinky than usual.  

But the spear Grumple still clenched seemed to have grown.  A lot.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline POG

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« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2005, 02:00:34 AM »
Baldwin looked at Smeed, eyes softening as he handed him some cheese.  He fished about in a sack and handed the older fellow some sausage and two pieces of hard bread.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“There you go.  Sorry I don’t have wine to share with you.â€?  He glared at the prone form of his brother Rory, who slept as he had no cares in all the world.

“I’m sorry if I seemed harsh,â€? Baldwin explained, “The sword is a family heirloom, passed down thru several generations.  As the eldest its Rory’s birthright, but…â€?  He gazed out into the gloom, “the sword chose me.â€?  He ate some more cheese and chewed thoughtfully and slowly before continuing.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“It always glows in the presence of evil, and it has never been wrong.  The stronger the evil, the brighter the glow, provided I’m close enough.  Now this bugbear, in the monk’s robes, did not cause the sword to glow.  You said you’ve some knowledge of enchantments.  How can this be?  Have you heard of anything such as this before?â€?…
"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 Wogden

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« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2005, 03:25:01 PM »
Smeed's eyes lit up as he accepted the proffered rations. "Bless your soul, kind sir," he cried, perhaps a little more enthusiastically than he had meant. It seemed all of these travellers had a knack for compassion. Maybe it would pay to remain in their company for a little while...

He selected the sausage to eat - it had truly been a good long time since he'd had some meat. His few remaining teeth groaned in his jaw as he chewed, but it was worth the discomfort. This Baldwin fellow wasn't half bad.

As for the sword... "Family heirloom, 'tis? Hmm..." Smeed sat back, searching his memory for anything that might be useful. There was that one fellow, many years back in Tulford, who'd almost slit his throat when he'd not liked the future Smeed's cards had foreseen for him... Now there had been a sword. And it had glowed every so often - Smeed had seen that firsthand after the fellow ran it through some cultists soon after.

"I daresay I have heard of such swords before," he said at last. "Normally it's quite a simple enchantment, if one has the skills. Trouble is, it tends to work only on them that have true malicious intent on their minds. I'm not sure it would count against a simple predator." Smeed went on, half to himself. "Mind you, this beast in man's clothing seems a bit too clever to count as a simple predator..."

"Without being able to test the blade myself, I couldn't say for sure whether it'd been tampered with. When was the last time it glowed for you, good sir?"
There is very, very good reason why I believe Life to be a gummy bear, but the exact wording of it escapes me at present. It was something about sugar, anyway.

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

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« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2005, 04:46:31 PM »
Holly sat back to the floor pulled her rucksack towards her and rumaged through it, pulling out some ham, a small pot of what looked like wrinkley stones, some elvish wine and a loaf of soft white bread which looked like it had just been cooked, "you say Palaten?" she looked at Smeed "you were there when they attacked then?" she eyed him up, looking at his face as if trying to remeber seeing him before, she took out a sharp dagger and began to slice the bread, she took two slices herself and put some ham into one side then some of the wrinkled stones into the other, she put the bread together and formed a sandwich which she bit into greatfully, "please take some bread if you wish" she said to the group, she pulled out her bottle and topped it off, "and there is wine too be shared i have enough off it, i managed to get quite a bit before i left Palaten, but i did go back after the army was gone," she looked down at the floor as she remebered the bodies lying around, some to mangled to recognise, others dying, other dead, so many houses had been burnt that day and so many innocent people had been killed.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Dream

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« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2005, 06:36:48 PM »
OCC:  I hope you guys are taking time to read each other’s posts.  Most of you write superbly.   I know I’m having a ball writing this stuff!

**********************************************

IC:  Grumple jerked up to a sitting position, hearing voices, but that didn’t matter.  Grumple was THIRSTY, and he smelled water on the other side of the group of voices.  Grumple sprang to his feet, which were now too large for his half-size frame, but no matter.  They propelled Mini-Grumple -- quick as a bunny -- as he scampered right past the group down the trail, and down the hill toward a nearby creek, dragging the spear.  

That was not the only thing dragging along behind Mini-G.  There followed a breathtaking, overwhelming stench which could well have been labeled, “Eau De Rotting-Corpse-In-Pigpenâ€? as Grumple zipped by.  The smelly, skinny, desiccated little troll dropped the spear on the bank and splashed into a pool of the creek with an enormous belly-flop.  Then, sinking to the bottom, Grumple proceeded to absorb pint after pint of water through every pore of his flaccid skin.

After being underwater for three minutes or so, the now-not-quite-so-Mini-G suddenly exploded to the surface for a breath of air, and then tried grabbing fish.  As usual, they were uncooperative and swam away, and Grumple managed to corner only one or two smallish ones.  Feeling starved, Grumple knelt on the bank staring at the water...

...and slowly, as if the Sun were gradually dawning over a large and particularly dense chunk of rock... Grumple got An Idea into his knobby head.  

Picking up The Tooth, Grumple proceeded to stab at a trout in the pool.  Nailing that one on the serrated point, Grumple stabbed at another, and another.  Got them too!  Sometimes Grumple even managed to spear one fish on the point, and snagged another fish withdrawing The Tooth on one of nasty rear prongs.  It was uncanny.

Grumple tossed each fish up in the air and with obvious relish, gulped them down whole into his enormous toothy mouth, fins, scales, and all.  There were plenty of fish, so in a frenzy of excess fisherman’s luck, Grumple speared several more large ones and flipped them up onto the bank.  Then for good measure, he speared a few fat frogs that were vainly attempting to hide in the mud and swallowed them, too.

Finally, with outrageously distended belly and an obvious feeling of well-being, the small but satisfied Grumple dropped his spear, waved to the friendly Bugbear up the hill, and grunted loudly, “Friend!  Come!  Eat Fish!â€?
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Scrasamax

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« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2005, 07:24:46 PM »
"It would seem that Grumple, that is the troll's name, will be a handful." However brutish he may seem I dont sense evil in him. Of course he will be my responsibility." Tantus said, watching the troll adroitly spear fish after fish. He even gulped down several toads that had seemed rather trollish themselves as they vanished down his gullet. "But it also seems he is a generous handful." Tantus said helping himself to several of the fish.

"If we make a camp fire, we can have this either smoked or seared. I've become quite accustomed to the taste of cooked meat." He said.


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
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Offline Wogden

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« Reply #35 on: August 30, 2005, 10:00:41 PM »
"Palaten? To be sure, I was just setting up my booth when the soldiers burst the gates," replied Smeed, remembering with annoyance the screams of the dead and wounded. He'd quickly re-packed and snuck out of town, though, so the extent of the pillaging was unknown to them. "A right bother, that was, Miss Holly..." He trailed off as he noticed her expression, staring at the ground. Perhaps some tact was needed. "Terrible, terrible. A pox on the fiends that did it. I gather you were there?..." His voice trailed off as he caught sight of the returned bugbear, and finally got the gist of his remarks.

"A troll!?" Oh dear Lord. "Saints preserve us, there's a troll about!?" Smeed nearly dropped the bread he was holding in terror. First the bugbear, and now - just as he was beginning to feel safe again - now a full-blown troll as well? "Where in our Lord's name did you manage to find one of them?" He glanced about in consternation, fully expecting to be gobbled alive at any moment.
There is very, very good reason why I believe Life to be a gummy bear, but the exact wording of it escapes me at present. It was something about sugar, anyway.

Offline POG

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« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2005, 03:33:57 AM »
Rory’s eyes snapped open and he slowly roused himself, “Did you mention wine?â€?  He looked at Holly expectantly, a mischievous grin spreading across his face.

“TROLL!!â€?  Baldwin sprung into a combat ready crouch.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“What the…?â€?  His sword came out again with a steely rasp he looked at the blade expectantly.  Ornate, ancient script etched into the blade met his gimlet stare, unglowingly.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“d**n!â€?  He glared in the direction of the Troll and Bugbear, and slammed his sword home in its scabbard.

Rory was making himself cozy with Holly and her wine and food, he paused to call over his shoulder at his brother, “Why don’t you just kill it because it’s a troll?  I mean do you need any other reason?â€?

Baldwin shot him a hard look, before stomping a short distance away in the high grass.  He sulked in the brush but kept his eyes on the newcomers, especially the troll, and started to work on the fletching of some of his arrows.  

Rory looked at Holly and whispered to her in a conspiratorial tone, “Don’t mind him.  He hasn’t killed anything in a while.  But he won’t kill anything unless the sword glows or the person or creature attacks us first.  He can’t really.  Final Judgment cuts two ways.â€?  He looked like he was about to say more but didn’t.

Instead he looked at Tantus, motioning for him to join them,  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Bugbear, what is your name?  And why aren’t you…well, how can I say this?...umm.  You’re the biggest monk I’ve ever seen.  You don’t throw stones do you?â€?…
"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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« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2005, 06:46:32 AM »
"My name is Brother Tantus, and I've been the biggest monk at the monastary since I was fourteen." Tantus said, gathering up a few more of the fish that Grumple was happily tossing onto the bank. "As for throwing stones...if it is a giant reference, than no I don't throw stones. If you mean on a more spiritual level, then again, No I don't throw stones."


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
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Offline POG

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« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2005, 09:48:46 AM »
Rory chuckled,  "Uh, by stones I meant do ya shoot dice?"  He took a swig of Holly's wine, "Hey I'll trade you some of this wine for some of your pet troll's fish."...
"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 Wogden

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« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2005, 02:52:54 PM »
Smeed looked around in confusion. Had everyone frogotten that they were talking to a full-grown bugbear? Monk's garb or no monk's garb, he still needed to straighten some things out with this creature.

"Now look here, bugbear - Tantus, or whatever you claim to be named," Smeed began, with as much severity as his reedy voice allowed, "All the others seem to trust you, which is all well and good. But I still have my doubts."

Smeed swallowed hard. Hopefully the creature would hear him out before gobbling him up or something. He could use the companionship of the others to his advantage, but he needed to make something clear. "If you choose to remain here, or travel along the same path as I do, I'll not complain. But don't expect me to trust you, Tantus."
There is very, very good reason why I believe Life to be a gummy bear, but the exact wording of it escapes me at present. It was something about sugar, anyway.

Offline Dream

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« Reply #40 on: August 31, 2005, 06:50:14 PM »
Catching only a little sleep, Private Realen Fox had ridden most of the night back to the city at the best speed his tired mount could muster.  All the way, he had pondered how he would break the bad news to the Captain.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Sir, the Troll is still alive, and he has your spear!â€?  No, that wouldn’t do.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Captain Kraggis, Sir, I have found your spear!â€?  No, Fox would have to tell him why he didn’t bring it with him.  

The Captain was going to be mad, that was for sure.  Fox wondered if he shouldn't have taken his chances with the Troll.  Too late now.  There was the defeated city of Palaten in front of him, with the very topmost battlements starting to glisten in the first rays of a new dawn.  Already, the main gate and drawbridge were being rebuilt.  His horse carefully tiptoed its way over the construction.  The guards of the invading army waved him through.  Slaves were already up and working hard under the harsh whips of their new masters.

Fox finally found the Captain in one of the finer houses of the city.  It was largely untouched by the battle; of course that was why Kraggis had “liberatedâ€? it.  That, and the fact that the lady of the house was quite beautiful, so Kraggis had decided to “protectâ€? her now that her husband had been killed defending Palaten last week.  Fox felt a twinge of sympathy for her.  She was capable and proud, but was forced to submit to the Captain’s cruel demands for the sake of her little daughter.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Better the woman should satisfy that SOB's desires than the childâ€?, thought Fox.

The guard announced Fox’s arrival.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Oh, s***â€?, thought Fox.  The Captain was still in bed.  Not good.  Not good at all.  Kraggis came downstairs angry, wearing nothing but the lady’s best pillowcase around his waist and his swordbelt.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“WHO DARES?!... You!!  Private!  Report!!â€?

The sharp crack of the Captain’s voice forced Fox’s exhausted body to attention instantly.  With a snappy salute, he shouted,  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Captain Kraggis, Sir!  I tracked the troll, which, uh, you had wounded!  He is not yet dead, but he, uh, is holding your spear!  One day’s ride from here, in the Berman Forest!  Sir!!â€?

The Captain was overjoyed to hear his spear was located, but would never say such a thing.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Why didn’t you kill the wounded beast and recover my spear, you worthless lump of goblin-s***?!!  Get out of my sight!â€?  As Fox saluted and turned away, Kraggis said in a softer voice, “Stay.  Well done, Corporal.  This woman will give you breakfast.  Draw supplies and a fresh horse.  You’ll guide a squad back as soon as you're ready.â€?

“Guard!!  Get Lieutenant Hanley over here on the double!!â€?  

To the woman he shouted, “B****!  Serve us breakfast!  And get your lazy brat to help or I’ll beat her again!â€?
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Dream

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« Reply #41 on: August 31, 2005, 07:06:41 PM »
Grumple walked up to the group, carrying the last of the fish.  His friend and savior, the bugbear, seemed to be friends with the others.  Well, then, they would be Grumple's friends, too.

Grumple felt very good inside.  Those fish and frogs had hit the spot just fine, even if they still wriggled around in it.  The spear seemed strange, as well it might.  It was still 6 feet tall, even if Grumple was now barely 3 feet.  But Grumple was strong for his size; especially since the cannibalization process that re-sized him had sacrificed mostly non-essentials like fat or excess bone mass.  Grumple barely weighed 90 pounds, long and lanky.

Grumple was pleased to see that his skin was stretching under growing sinews as the fish began to digest, and was still warty, lumpy, gray and green.  Perfectly lovely.


***********
OCC:  Mr. Pog, I cannot send you a PM.  I tried.  My character, Grumple is not evil, as we discussed earlier, but it occurs to me that the spear he carries is a bit evil.  Or, at least, it has Malice in it, which is philosophically a subset of evil.  It "likes" to wound and kill.  So you may want your sword to glow when "The Tooth" gets near you, or some new reaction.  Your call.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline POG

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« Reply #42 on: August 31, 2005, 09:12:17 PM »
OCC:  I'll PM you dream. I'll post in character after Calista posts.
"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 Callista Miala Moonshade

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« Reply #43 on: September 01, 2005, 04:51:11 PM »
holly sat and sipped on her wine bitting into her bread again, she looked towards the place where Baldwin had stormed off to, "do you enjoy the wine?" she asked looking at rory as he took a deep gullet full down his throat, she chuckled "Tantus, please help yourself to food or drink, and your troll friend may have some as well if he wishes, i have enough for at least 6 or 7 meals." holly turned to the troll and made a small bow making sure not to avert her eye's from the creature, she didn't think that it was evil, but just in case she looked nice and juicy to it, "yes i was there at Palaten, and that is why i am here now, i hear that they should be on there way too Halbad, the army which destroyed Palaten, so i wish to get there before they do so that i can inform the king and perhaps fight by his side, we are....." she thought of the word "friends!" she looked back to her bread not wishing to reveal to much about her self "king Horace of Halbad! we have met on many ocassions, and i wish to inform him before something awful happens to Halbad" she stopped talking and then mumbled into her bread "they will pay for what they have done."
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Dream

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« Reply #44 on: September 01, 2005, 06:06:58 PM »
Leading 18 light cavalry and four pack horses, Lieutenant Hanley and Corporal Fox headed back to the forest at a brisk pace.  The Lieutenant welcomed the chance to get into action and prove himself to the men.  He was currently the butt of every joke.

Like Captain Kraggis, the Lieutenant had selected a woman in the defeated city to “favorâ€? with his intentions, and she had not responded with proper gratitude.  In fact, the b**** had attempted to slice off his “favorsâ€? with his own knife!  When he tried to kill her on the spot, she made enough noise to attract witnesses, and he had to have her executed instead, for attacking and wounding an officer.

Of course, the news spread through the Cohort faster than a greased weasel.  Now the men were calling him
    “Half-A-Man Hanleyâ€?  and  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Hi-Voice Hanleyâ€?   behind his back.  

He had already had one soldier flogged for calling him “Hard-Off Hanleyâ€? loud enough for him to overhear it.  Hanley couldn’t stop the ridicule.  So it was just as well that they went out for a battle, even if it was only for that misbegotten Troll.

“Two Dekms!â€?  Hanley thought.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“I need only one Dekm to take down a poxy Troll, particularly a wounded one.  Kraggis must really want his spear back.â€?

The sound of “Hands-Free Hanleyâ€? came drifting up from the men at the rear of  First Dekm amidst barely-suppressed laughter.  The Lieutenant silently fumed.  Somebody was going to die today.  He would make sure of that.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline POG

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« Reply #45 on: September 02, 2005, 03:32:30 AM »
Baldwin spoke, his deep voice carrying from where he sat a short distance away from the rest of the group.  His eyes still scanned the surrounding forest, giving special attention to “Brotherâ€? Tantus and his pet troll.  He’d not trust them anytime soon.  Aside from the obvious discrepancy that they came from races of creatures  that were among the most vile he had ever encountered, and showed no malice or evil, there was still something about them that made his stomach uneasy.  Perhaps it was the wicked looking spear the Troll carried.  He shifted Final Judgment in its scabbard.  He still discerned no glow.

   ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Rory and I are headed to Halbad as well.  We have family there.  Although we weren’t there we heard about the slaughter.  Rory sometimes…can understand situations before they come to pass.  The people we spoke to did not believe us.  We hope the people in Halbad are not as foolish.  The fact that we have family there should help.â€?

Rory quickly stood up. Standing at his full height he was a few inches taller than Baldwin although he didn’t usually stand straight up.  He stood still like a hunted deer sniffing the air for a pack of hungry wolves in pursuit.  He opened his hands and his eyes went far away, loosing focus.  He began to hum.  Low, a whisper.  The sound spread  out covering the clearing Tantus, Smeed, Grumple, Holly, his brother Baldwin, all of the rocks and all of the trees, continuing like liquid it covered the insects, rodents in their burrows,  the flying things the stream, the fish that had escaped Grumple’s incursions into their watery domain.  Down hill and up hill the sound traveled to all the cardinal directions.  Rory fell deeper into the sounds, deeper into the impressions as it raced outward the night time landscape lay before revealed in exquisite detail that he could never perceived with his eyes.  Two ridgelines to the west the sound encountered galloping horses, and men intent on war and destruction.  The echo of the jangle of harnesses, the creak of leather bindings came back to Rory’s ears with the echo of his hum, the passage of his breath.  The smell of sweat the unwashed bodies, the oil of weapons well cared for.   Coming this way with speed.  This he saw in his mind’s eye.

Rory withdrew his breath, the sound, the hum ceased; his eyes half closed snapped open, regained focus.  He quickly doused the fire.

“What?â€?  Baldwin called concern in his voice.

“Fifteen… twenty men, on horses, coming this way.  I think they mean to do us ill.  He looked at the others.  Ready yourselves.  I don’t think we have time to flee.â€?

Baldwin tightened the straps on his armor.  He drew Final Judgment and thrust it into the ground to his right, plunging it in to half its length.  He pulled the long bow off his back and plunged about twenty shafts into the ground in various locations about the clearing.  He returned to stand next to his sword looking at it expectantly.

As the horsemen drew closer the sword began to glow dimly, slowly increasing in intensity.  Baldwin couldn’t hear the horses yet, but he knew.

“At least one in the group that comes against us is truly evil.  Prepare yourselves.â€?  Let’s see what this Bugbear and his pet troll are really about…
"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 Callista Miala Moonshade

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« Reply #46 on: September 02, 2005, 08:45:09 AM »
holly stood quickly listening, she pulled her sword out of it's holster and held it firm, standing in a battle stance, she waited, mouth closed silence within the clearing, were they coming for them, or were they coming for some other reason she didn't know but she didn't care they had come here to fight and thats what they were going to get, she raised her sword high ready to strike out at the first to enter the clearing, she dared them to come closer, she wished they would hurry up, if these horsemen were the ones who destroyed Palaten, holly was going to enjoy this, out of her pocket she pulled a small package which she threw up into the air, it grew in size and length, until it was the proper size for a bow, a light glowing golden bow, the string was fine but strong dragon heartstring, she pulled back the string aimed it at a tree not far away and let the string go, there was a whistle as an unseen arrow flew through the air, once it had hit the tree it appeared, a long, strong, golden arrow shimmered in the sunlight she stood and she waited her sword raised one hand and the bow in another, she waited for the oncoming battle.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

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« Reply #47 on: September 02, 2005, 06:05:01 PM »
Smeed swallowed nervously. "Horsemen? Soldiers, then?" Brilliant. A troop of mounted soldiers, just fresh from the pillage of Palaten. His aging heart beat faster as he recalled the merciless armed men that had swarmed into the town, waving steel and torches. And that had only been the vanguard...

Truth be told, Smeed was not a fighting man. In a crisis, his first instinct was to find shelter as quick as possible, or to make himself scarce. Yet this Rory had made it clear that neither was going to be a feasible option.

Smeed racked his brains for a way he could both defend himself and be of assistance to the rest of the travellers. He hated watching people die, especially ones he was just getting to know, and who could make his journey to Halbad a lot more comfortable.

Clearly his fortune-telling equipment was useless. The intricate cards, notched bones and incense sticks would hardly help in a situation like this. Rummaging through his pack, Smeed realized with growing panic that nothing he possessed might work remotely to his advantage in a fight... "Oh, what am I to do?" he moaned, thinking aloud in his fright. "I've got nothing to fight with! They'll carve me into mince!"
There is very, very good reason why I believe Life to be a gummy bear, but the exact wording of it escapes me at present. It was something about sugar, anyway.

Offline Dream

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« Reply #48 on: September 02, 2005, 06:24:09 PM »
OCC:  Mr POG, that description of Rory's clairvoyance gave me shivers. Nicely written.

*************************

IC:  The sun was down, and the shadows were deepening.  The two Dekms formed up down the hill a distance away; so as not to scare the sleeping troll.  Private, no, make that: Corporal Fox led the Lieutenant to where he had last seen the troll on the ground.  There was nothing there but a foul, stinking residue.  No troll, no spear.  Hanley said loudly, "Well?? where is it!?", but Fox just motioned him to stay there.  He was a good tracker.  He would find the monster.

The corporal tracked Grumple's spoor, dismounting to examine the mess.  Something was weird here.  The footprints were smaller.  Did a smaller troll eat the bigger one as it died?  He didn't see any approaching footprints.  It didn't make sense.  Trolls could eat a lot, but could the little one eat this much?

Then he smelled a trace of wood smoke.  Nearby campfire.  Something was up ahead.  He strained for a look through the trees.

He didn't get to go see.  Impatiently, the Lieutenant had already ordered up the two squads.  Sargeant Griswold was in charge of Second Dekm.  "Sargeant, circle around down the hill and flush out that troll!" ordered the officer.  "First Dekm, with me!"

Fox was left behind, annoyed and baffled.

Griswold's Dekm went the wrong way.  The Lieutenant's blundered right into Holly's group.  Seeing their weapons, he halted his men 50 yards out.  "Lances at ready!"

His horse pranced forward a bit closer.  Yes.  That was her!  There was an All-Watch out on that woman.  She was a killer, and a threat of some sort.  Hmmm... quite good-looking, too, from this distance.  Then there were able-bodied men who should be serving in the army, or as slaves.  And wonder of wonders, a bugbear in clothing!??  What could be more outrageous than that?  

A troll, of course.  A baby one, but it held The Tooth!  Excellent!  He would capture the whole lot and be a major stallion back back at camp before dark.

"YOU!!"  (Hanley almost said "people", but that bugbear was there.)  "Throw down your weapons and surrender!  Under orders of the Emperor, you are all under arrest!"

He knew they wouldn't give up.  He had seen warriors enough in his day.  They stood proud, with the possible exception of that older man.

"LANCERS!  Take them prisoner, especially that Troll!  ATTACK!"

Nine men on horseback with lances pointed forward and chains laid across their saddles surged toward the six.  Hanley brought up the rear at a run.

Grumple looked at the Bugbear, then the woman, then the others.  Grumple saw the group preparing to fight.  Well, then, Grumple would fight, too, to the death for Grumple's savior and his friends.


*************
OCC:  All yours, folks!  Play nice!
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Scrasamax

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« Reply #49 on: September 02, 2005, 07:57:20 PM »
OOC - I'm going to be offline for a while folks, I'm visiting my family in TExas. They evacuated from the hurricane. If someone wants to control Tantus for the duration, he is not going to join into the fight unless directly confronted, and then he is still a holy man and if they soldiers are in the least bit god-fearing, the worst they could do would be to take him into custody.  Thanks you all.


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