llamaenterhear
Username: Password:

Author Topic: The Last War  (Read 60976 times)

0 Members and 1 Lonely Barbarian are spying on this topic.

Offline POG

  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #75 on: September 07, 2005, 02:05:39 AM »
Baldwin looked at his brother in the predawn gloom.  Neither of them could really sleep.  Rory had salvaged what he could from the slain men.  Baldwin had been able to contain some of their wayward mounts and there were enough horses for all of them to ride with two extra for supplies.  Although, mused Baldwin as he looked at the sleeping troll and Bugbear, the horses might shy from transporting certain members of their small party.

The Bugbear seemed to be the genuine article.  His healing skills had been proven.  The troll was trouble, and that cursed spear.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“You know,â€? He spoke softly to Rory, “We should get rid of that thing.â€?  Rory chewed on some pumpkin seeds he had produced from a small sack at his belt before answering, “Is that our choice, I mean it doesn’t really belong to us.â€?

Baldwin shot him a look, eyes narrowing.  Rory shot him a grin, “I’m right.â€?  He threw a pumpkin seed at his brother hitting him square in the forehead.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“What about the group?  Will you lead?â€?

“If they’ll have me.� He mused.

“Careful what you wish for.â€?  Rory replied.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Toting that spear around will probably bring us more than our share of fun.â€?  He curled up in his oversized cloak, “ Oh, and Win before I forget I wanted to thank you.â€?

“For what?â€?  

“Volunteering to take watch while we sleep.�

“What…� Baldwin started to ask.

Rory responded with soft snores as he was already fast asleep…
"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

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #76 on: September 07, 2005, 07:32:27 PM »
Grumple woke up.  Grumple could no longer ignore The Hunger.  It was like a Living Thing.  The Hunger clawed and bit inside his belly, pacing back and forth like a caged beast.  The Hunger snarled and growled (Really!  You could HEAR it!) within Grumple.  The Hunger was more than Grumple could bear.

Grumple jumped up onto skinny legs and oversize feet.  It was two hours before dawn.  Good!  Plenty of time.  Grumple noted the sleeping bugbear, Smead, and the others.  Grumple ignored the man on watch.  There was a more important matter to attend to.

FOOD.  Grumple smelled the horses, a couple of which had noticed him and were fidgeting and pawing in fear.  They smelled of battle; of sweat and blood.  Yes, very, very tasty.  The beast within Grumple's belly roared its approval.

But the horses had been gathered and tethered there.  These horses belonged to Grumple's friends.  Something else must be found.

There were dead men.  Grumple did not eat men.  Oh, no.  Hadn't eaten men for many, many years.  Or anything that could talk.  That was Evil.

Grumple lurched over to a dead horse, a large black one.  Ahhh!  Only hours dead.  Still fresh and delicious... (although a couple of days to tenderize wouldn't have hurt the flavor a bit.)

Grumple dug powerful hands with sharp fingernails into the horse's haunch, tearing off handfuls of bloody flesh.  These he held over his open mouth and dropped them in.  Grumple's four fangs tore into the meat.  Grumple's blunt molars shredded and mashed the meat.  Wonderful!  A feast!

Grumple stuffed at the All-Night, All-You-Can-Eat-'Black-Beauty-Buffet'.  He dropped in the liver, the heart, the tongue.  Strength returned to his damaged body.  Healing was in full force.  Horse flesh really hit the spot!

As Grumple cracked the leg bone open between his mighty jaws and sucked on the marrow, Grumple thought, "If only Grumple had a little Goat to go with Horse.  For dessert."
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

  • Grand Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 626
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #77 on: September 08, 2005, 11:23:17 AM »
Holly stirred by the waters edge, something wasn't right, she raised her head a bit just so she could see round the clearing, the shimmer of the moon had gone, and know there was only the little light reflections of the stars, twinkling, showing there warning, Holly stood up and walked back to the clearing where the others were asleep apart from grumple and Baldwin, grumple was feeding of the dead horse which lay nearly half eaten, Holly didn't even flinch from the sight of blood, she turned and looked at Baldwin, her feet took her too him, she placed herself not too close but not to far away, "theres something not quite right about this night" she shuddered as a cold chill swept through the clearing pulling her hair around as if some unseen creature was stood there messing it up.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Nobody

  • Strolenati
  • Master
  • *
  • Posts: 466
  • Awards Item Guild Questor Hall of Heroes 10
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #78 on: September 08, 2005, 03:49:20 PM »
OOC:Callista, I have PM'ed you

IC:

Out of the woods Odat sautered into the camp.

He was a tall thin man, with dirt covering his face and hands. He wore a floor length brown trench coat in dire need of repair, just below, a pair of boots that looked like they needed mending even more than the coatt and his right hand held a flask of liquid that he periodically drank from. He had a lean face, and a nose that had clearly been broken on many occasions. These features were however, dwarfed by the overpowering smell of Alchohol and odor that rolled in after him like a cloud.

After only a moments notice, it became obvious that Saunter was not really the right word for the way Odat moved. It was more of a sporadic series of stumbling lurches, and lunges. His gait was almost unsettling to watch as he entered the camp grounds. He would take two steps, and then, appearing to lose his balance, start falling in some random direction, three more steps while falling, and just as you though he would finally tip over, he would instead be headed, upright, in a completely different direction, just to repeat the process all over again.

He continued heading forward, stopping only at the troll who was ravenously devouring the horse.

"ello therr lad. You surrly look unngry" he said in a heavy drawl. "Bess not to eat thad so fass or yull get a belly ache. Kinda ugly too fur a boy. Heerrrrrr, yurr gonna need 'is mor' n I do" he said as he put the flask he was holding down by the troll.

He continued his unsettling style of movement over to Holly. As he reached her, he went to take a swig of his non-existent flask and jumped back as if surprised not to find it in his hand. After a moment of examining his hand to see where it could have gone, he reached into his trench coat and pulled out another flask which he immediately drank from.

"Waitress", he said as he addressed Holly, "if you'd be ssso kind as to fetch me a drrrink. Urrr, the strongest stuff yer got" he finished as his hand came down to pinch her bottom...
"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

  • Grand Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 626
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #79 on: September 08, 2005, 04:41:47 PM »
holly jumped as her bum got pinched, she swung herself around and stared at the newcomer, "i am not a waitress and no i will not get you a drink," she stood in a defensive stance, ready to smack him down if he done anything else.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Dream

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #80 on: September 08, 2005, 07:30:49 PM »
Although it was not quite pitch black, it was still an hour before the sun would begin to light the sky.  Tantus awoke.  It was time to get up and pray, as he did every morning at this time.  His waking thought was to see if Smeed was well.  Tantus took his pulse, and ever-so-gently felt the arm for swelling.  The little man did not even stir.  His healing would be especially quick, for Tantus had "Laid Hands" on his injury for hours while they slept.  This was his gift from the Lord, and it opened doors to the hearts of the Lost.

He then looked over at Grumple, who lay on his back with belly distended, groaning loudly.  Had it been anyone else, Tantus would have been over there in a second to heal him of his dread affliction.  But this was Grumple, and upon a closer look, it was obvious he couldn't have been happier.

Time was precious.  He quietly spoke the words of the Fugitive's Prayer, from the time when St. Logan had been forced to flee his persecutors:  "Lord, guide my feet while I run to you.  Amen!"

The monk caught the first whiff of metabolized alcohol.  Yes, large quantities of metabolized alcohol, combined with larger quantities of freshly-consumed alcohol.  A drunk somewhere.  Who had been drinking?  Rory drank wine, and seemed to let on that he was a lush, but showed profound discipline and self-control under the surface.

Tantus stood up to his full 7-foot height.  Holding his precious book of St. Logan and his pack, he strode over to Holly, Rory, Baldwin, and a tall newcomer.  That would be the drunk.  The smell was overwhelming to Tantus' sensitive nose.

Muttering to himself, "Saint Logan would accept him," Tantus tried not to be judgmental.  He said instead in his deep and resonant voice, "Welcome, friend.  By the way, you might be interested to know that the last man who laid a hand on that lady lost his arm.  Followed by his head."

Immediately, Tantus turned to speak to Baldwin before the newcomer got startled before a bugbear, as they always did.  He had already discerned that the brother that appeared younger also appeared to be the leader.  "Baldwin, if I may suggest, we need to leave right away, before dawn.  Can you give the order?  Neither Grumple nor I can ride a horse, but if you set a reasonable pace, we will keep up."

"Brother Grumple!  Come!"  he said quietly in Trollshaw.  Of course, "quietly" still sounded like a cross-cut saw grinding through a hollow glass log stuffed with dying jackals.  Grumple stirred.

With a loud groan that couldn't possibly have come from a creature smaller than, say, a water buffalo, Grumple rolled over and stood up.  Picking up the spear, Grumple dragged it behind him as he waddled uncomfortably over to Tantus.  Strangely, he appeared to have grown not so much wider as a bit taller.  Grumple grinned and rubbed his enormous gut.

"Go Now." Grumple replied in Trollshaw.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

  • Grand Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 626
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #81 on: September 09, 2005, 05:40:47 AM »
Holly narrowed her eye's and turned to Baldwin "I agree, i believe we should move as soon as possible, theres something not right here and i don't like it" Holly turned to the drunkard stood behind her, looked at him with a suspicious look, then turned away to find a horse to ride on, she found a 16 hand black horse, quite muscular, showed signs, of speed and power, Holly ran her hand down it's hind and felt at a small gash on it's leg, nothing serious but should put some healing herbs on it just in case, she pulled a small bag out of her cloak, and dabbed her finger into the small green substance, she gently rubbed down the horses leg again and found the gash, she put the green substance onto the gash and the horse whinned, showing the new-found pain in it's leg, Holly stood up and walked to the horses head, gently rubbing down the white ridge on it's nose, "you will do, i can tell your quite fast" the horse whinned to show it understood.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Dream

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #82 on: September 09, 2005, 08:47:50 PM »
Tantus, always trying to be open, said to the stranger, "My friend, we hate to run, but as you can probably tell, there has been trouble here.  We do not wish to encounter more."

"If you stay here you may well be blamed for what you see about you.  But we must go.  May the Lord go with you."

Tantus bodily picked up the sleeping Smeed and effortlessly placed him on a horse before the animal (or the man, for that matter) could bolt.  The monk nodded at the brothers and Holly as they sat on their horses.  Then Grumple and Tantus started trotting down the road through the woods away from the scene of carnage and towards Halbad.

As he loped along behind Tantus, Grumple back looked over his shoulder at the dead horses and whined sadly.  Such a waste.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

  • Grand Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 626
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #83 on: September 10, 2005, 06:58:20 AM »
Holly pulled herself onto the black horse, and kicked it into motion, it shot forward at a slow trot and then began to walk quite fast at the back of the group, "stranger come if you will but be warned on false move and i will have your head" she called out behind her to the drunk man, who still seemed to be staggering around, Holly kicked the horse into a fast trot and caught up with tantus and Grumple, the horse pulled back as it came in line with them, but holly said something into it's ear and it continued to walk next to them, "i fear that if we do not get there quickly, then we will be too late" she looked at tantus, and then at grumple, "we need the army of Halbad, they have one of the biggest and strongest army's in the east, they just do not realise it, if they are attacked the king he will flee, and the troops will be without a leader, he always was a wimp" she stated with a giggle, she looked over her shoulder to see if the others where coming.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Scrasamax

  • The Rogue Scholar
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3420
  • 20% Cooler
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Gold Creator 10 Elite Questor Hall of Heroes 10 Elite Systems Guild
    • Scras' Blog
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #84 on: September 10, 2005, 08:32:45 AM »
"It was St. Mancel who once said that he would rather have an army of sheep lead by a lion than an army of lions lead by a sheep." Tantus said as he did his best to keep pace with the horses. It wasn't as difficult as the humans might have thought it was. He was long legged and could take greater strides than the average human. One of the things that St. Logan had taught was that even once converted to the faith, one's race didn't change. A bugbear he was born and a bugbear he would always be.

"Perhaps this wicked spear can be brought to an advantage. It seems  quite obvious that the men who destroyed Palaten want it quite badly, you as well." Tantus said to Holly. "That means it is important to them, important enough for them to send several mounted patrols after it. They wont stop now. If they come against Halbad..." He paused.

"What am I thinking?" He wondered aloud. "The spear is evil and it would do everyone good to see it destroyed. It turned Master Wenderfern into a killer, and once he lost the spear he was so overcome by his deeds he will be under the heel of his conscience for years or more without atonement. How can we expect any man or woman to resist its power. I think it is only the simple mindset of Grumple that prevents the spear from dominating him as easily as it did Wenderfern."


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
STR: 4 | END: 4 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 4

Tentacle Tentacle Sanity Schmanity

Offline Wogden

  • Adept
  • **
  • Posts: 107
  • Awards Hall of Heroes 5
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #85 on: September 10, 2005, 10:36:43 AM »
OOC: Naw, Scras, it's just that Smeed's a total wimp. :wink:

IC: Swinging from side to side on the back of the horse, Smeed's eyes eased open as he slowly regained wakefulness. The first thing that met his eye was the rough ground below him, steadily passing by underneath the trotting horse. Rocks and grass, with odd little flowers peeking out like forgotten confetti, in muted purples, reds, and yellows. It was mesmerising to watch the land go beneath him...

A deep voice, almost a growl, brought him back from his reverie. "...the simple mindset of Grumple that prevents the spear from dominating him as easily as it did Wenderfern..."

Wenderferns, thought Smeed lazily. With an 's'. Everyone made that mistake, even after he corrected them. Then the rest of the sentence pierced through the fog, like a solid arrow through the growing mist of dew about the horse's legs.

Dear lord. In a flood of emotion, the night came back to him - the pain, the carnage, the terrible feeling of having betrayed himself. And all this thanks to one evil weapon. Driven by a sudden rush of anger, Smeed jerked his head up, heedless of his tear-stained, red-rimmed eyes' wild stare. His wandering gaze fixed on the bugbear, loping along beside him. "Where... where is it?" he croaked. He would tear that poxed spear apart, end its vile whisperings of bloodshed, even if it killed him.
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 Nobody

  • Strolenati
  • Master
  • *
  • Posts: 466
  • Awards Item Guild Questor Hall of Heroes 10
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #86 on: September 10, 2005, 11:50:37 AM »
Odat just seemed to remain stumbling in the same place for a while. His mind was turning over the sudden sequence of events.

Not a waitress.

 What in the world did she mean by that. Maybe she was one of Those girls. The ones who did more than wait on tables. Maybe that was it. If she weren't a waitress, and she wasn't more than a waitress, then the bouncer would have thrown him out. Or maybe he did throw Odat out. After all, nobody else was around anymore.

Odat made a quick decision. He would find out what she was. Just go ask her. He would head right back in there and find out...
"I am just a figment of my imagination" -"Loki", Illusionist Trickster

Offline Dream

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #87 on: September 10, 2005, 08:22:38 PM »
"...the simple mindset of Grumple that prevents the spear from dominating him as easily as it did Wenderfern..."

Grumple looked up as someone said his name.  "Huh?" Grumple thought.  "What they talking about?... ...Grumple?  Spear?"

Grumple continued to lope along easily, his long, bony arms swinging, at the pace a human could run.

Grumple got it.  They wanted to cut some Wenderferns, with the spear.  Probably something for healing.  People always gathered ferns and tree bark and useless plants that didn't taste no good no how.  If they ate plenty frogs they wouldn't need ferns to heal.  Grumple ate plenty frogs, and Grumple never got sick or stayed hurt very long.  

The sun was peeking over the horizon through the trees. Thinking of frogs, Grumple started to think about:  what might be for breakfast?
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline POG

  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #88 on: September 11, 2005, 02:12:56 AM »
Baldwin sat atop his recovered horse feeling the bunch and flow of its muscular flanks as he set off down the road toward Halbad.   He grudgingly accepted the fact that the Bugbear was what he claimed.  Baldwin had heard the fugitive prayer before, but never spoken with such piety.  Tantus was either a supreme actor or the genuine article.  Baldwin decided he would trust the sword.  Besides, it was very difficult to continue to find fault with the bugbear when everything that come out of his mouth made good sense.

The morning breeze felt refreshingly cool after the intense focus, and exertion of the previous night.  Rory had no problems sleeping after the fight, as usual, but Baldwin was a different sort.  He always replayed the tactics the sights and sounds, how he could have done things differently or better.  As far as Rory was concerned, it was what it was.  Done was done.

Anyone who didn’t know better would swear he was asleep now.  He lounged in the saddle in opposition to Baldwin’s ramrod straight bearing and his eyes looked half closed and unfocused.  Baldwin knew better and showed no surprise when after the group had been riding for an hour, Rory opened his eyes and said, “We have company.â€?

  Baldwin called the group to a halt.  Rory addressed them all, “There are about twenty people in the woods up ahead.  Mostly women and children.  They appear to be refugees from Palaten.  Probably frightened, hungry and tired.â€?  He ran a hand thru his unruly mop of dark hair, looking at Tantus, “Maybe we could help them…but we should be careful how we approach them.â€?

“Are you sure?â€?  asked Baldwin, loosening his sword in its scabbard.  Rory shot him a look.

“Ok..â€? Baldwin conceded.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Perhaps we should help them.  He glanced at the rest of the group.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“What do the rest of you think?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

  • The Rogue Scholar
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3420
  • 20% Cooler
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Gold Creator 10 Elite Questor Hall of Heroes 10 Elite Systems Guild
    • Scras' Blog
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #89 on: September 11, 2005, 07:46:09 AM »
"Perhaps we can help them." Tantus said. "Grumple and I can see about gathering some food while the rest of you deal with the refugees. I doubt a bugbear and a spear wielding troll are the first things they want to see."

"Grumple," Tantus said, swtiching back to trollshaw, "We should go hunt. We need plenty of meat. Our bellies are as empty as yours. Your belly grumbles like a storm already." He said with a deep vaguely trollish laugh.

"Once we return, I can look to healing those who need it but I think that some food might do them as much good as healing." He said. "Besides, I think that the drunkard is still following us. He needs to join with our group completely or be gone. I don't want to be tailed all the way to Halbad by a stumbling fool that even a novice cavalryman can track for 100 paces."


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
STR: 4 | END: 4 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 4

Tentacle Tentacle Sanity Schmanity

Offline Dream

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #90 on: September 11, 2005, 08:17:34 PM »
Grumple thought, "Grumple's belly not empty now."  He rubbed it for good luck.  Lots of horse in there.  All being properly digested and healing the wounds and helping Grumple grow up once more.

Then he thought again, "Good idea, go hunt for food anyway."  There probably was never a troll that didn't think it was good time to go get some more food to eat.  Couldn't hurt.

Only Grumple hadn't figured out yet that Tantus wanted him to do more of the "go getting some more food" and less of the "eat."  

Grumple grabbed an empty supplies bag from one of the riders and ambled down to the stream that followed alongside the road.  There was usually something worth hunting where water was found.  

Ah, yes!  Ahead.  A wild boar.  Very big, very stinky.  And very, very tasty.

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

Corporal Fox was cautiously heading back to the clearing in the forest where two Dekms had been decimated by unknown forces.  He had been so exhausted when night had fallen that he was first to sleep when the Sargeant had ordered the men to made a defensive position.  Of course, the price to be paid was that he was the first one ordered up and back on the job at dawn.  

The other riders of the Blackhand broke camp and hurried back to the city for reinforcements.  They had the whole trip back to properly hone their stories and excuses for failure to a razor's edge.  At this point, they were wondering whether it would have been better to have never returned.  The Captain would be unhappy; very unhappy indeed.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline POG

  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #91 on: September 12, 2005, 02:21:04 PM »
Baldwin dismounted from his horse, motioning for the others to do the same.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“We should approach on foot.  Mr. Smeed, you are the most learned and well spoken among the group so I think you should be the person to speak first.â€?  Besides, thought Baldwin, he looks the least dangerous.  "Holly and Rory do your best to look friendly."

The four strode up the road with the midmorning sun at their backs.  The foliage of the woods was thick here and pressed right to road’s boundary.  Rory pointed out a small path, almost invisible leading off the road and into the dense woods.  As they headed down the small twisting path sound of their footsteps was devoured by the mossy ground.  Tree limbs and small branches pulled at their clothes like determined beggars seeking alms.  Baldwin looked about the forest as the thick canopy of trees began to defeat the sun’s efforts to bring light to the mossy sward below.  This would be a good place for an ambush.  True to his thoughts he heard the rustling in the brush just prior to hearing the words coming from the path up ahead.

“You’re surrounded!â€?  The voice was high pitched but determined, sounding like it hadn’t long before left the joys of childhood.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“Drop your weapons!â€?  A figure appeared ahead, a waif of a girl, face smudged with dirt.  She wore a leather tunic that looked three sizes too large.  Bright green eyes, wide with fright that belied the determination in her voice took the party in, dark circles beneath them from lack of sleep.  She pointed the business end of a short sword, that looked more fit for decoration than combat, in the group’s direction.

Baldwin nudged Smeed forward…
"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

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #92 on: September 12, 2005, 05:43:24 PM »
As the sun began to rise, Corporal Fox moved cautiously through the clearing on horseback.  It was quiet.  The birds were twittering here and there normally; he noticed the vultures were circling over the trees as might be expected.  They obviously had spotted the bodies, since there had not been enough time for the stench of death to develop.  They were not afraid.

All was quiet, but, he expected something, well, dramatic to happen.  He heard it all from the survivors before he had slept -- invisible arrows shot with stunning accuracy from fantastic distances.  Arms and heads cleaved clean off.  Exploding fireballs.  Skinny little old men with superhuman invulnerability and battle prowess.  Even reports of giant man-eating tree frogs!  The most fantastic part was that the early reports (before the usual embellishments) sounded like honest witness accounts.

Fox studied the tracks, the positions where the horsemen were cut down, the movements and tactics of the enemy, ahhh... the troll's blood... so the troll was still around.  The shredded horse, horribly butchered by some wild beast, or the troll.  

Not surprisingly, some of the Blackhand's horses were missing... yes... they had been ridden out, down the trail.  Four, Five, Six horses?  The characteristic horseshoe prints were there.   Thargis Ferrin, their blacksmith, had his own design.  If the ground stayed soft, Fox should be able to track these horses forever.  However, this was a well-travelled road, and other prints were unclear from all the traffic.  Lots of refugees, he expected, feeling sorry for the displaced families in these times.

Fox startled.  A tall man was nearby.  He staggered as he walked.

The corporal thought maybe he should make some sort of command decision; after all, he had been promoted.  Looking around nervously for invisible arrows flying his way, Fox sat up as straight as he could and ordered, "You There!  Man!  In the name of the Emperor, tell me what you saw here!"  There.  That sounded official.

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

OCC:  Please don't kill Corporal Fox.  Also, since I'm sort of new, if you find I don't handle a NPC properly, please let me know how to improve.

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

Grumple saw the male warthog snuffling by, nose to the ground.  It stopped from time to time to look around.  Since the troll was downwind and standing by a tree, Grumple was not noticed.  When the boar went by, Grumple looked at the spear, then his hands, then stuck the spear into the ground and shinnied up the tree.  Grumple was not like other trolls (as you have probably heard), but trolls almost never use bladed weapons.   Swords and spears require practice and discipline, and trolls are not known for either.  Why bother with finesse and dexterity when a brutal bludgeoning will do?

Grumple did not feel comfortable using a spear.  Out on a limb, he waited for the warthog's family to approach.  One, two... three!  (Sort of.)  Grumple grinned, then sprang from the treelimb, landing on the sow.  Kill her and the piglets would be easy to catch.  But something was wrong!  She was just as heavy as Grumple, who had forgotten his recent experience with the "Lose 100 Pounds Overnight Diet Plan!"

Instead of snapping her neck, Grumple found himself barely able to hang on.  Long troll arms wrapped around the sow's neck, and she fell. Grumple choked her while she kicked viciously at the troll with her hooves.  Ow! Ow! Ow!  The piglets scattered.

Then, to Grumple's dismay, the warthog boar tore into the fray.  Swinging his tusks, the powerful porker ripped into Grumple's butt.  OW! OW! OW!

One little piglet peeked out from under a log, admiring his father's style.  Daddy would save them.  He always did.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline Callista Miala Moonshade

  • Grand Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 626
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #93 on: September 12, 2005, 06:08:06 PM »
Holly stopped in her tracks, waiting for smeed, to talk, when he didn't for a few minutes, Holly stepped forward, she put on her most innocent smile and began to talk, slowly so not to provoke, the girl not that she couldn't handle her anyway but there were probably more of them around, "please, do not fear us, we have come to help, not to harm" she pulled her sword from it's holster and placed it on the ground, she looked to the others begging for them to do the same, "we have come from, Palaten, well some of us have, we are on our way to Halbad, we have only come to help, we can heal the wounded and we have others off hunting for food already, we do not want to fight with you, only to help" Holly stopped and took a deep breathe, she then went into a low bow, keeping her eye on the girl at all times.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"

Offline Wogden

  • Adept
  • **
  • Posts: 107
  • Awards Hall of Heroes 5
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #94 on: September 12, 2005, 06:47:27 PM »
Holly's interjection jerked Smeed out of his faraway silence. He gave a small, thin cough, and looked rather hesitantly at the blade brandished by the small girl. "Hold a moment, miss!" he began, stuttering.

"We mean you no harm. Indeed... indeed, I possess no weapon, and am a man of learning rather than violence..." Or had been, up until last night, his torn conscience accused - but Smeed tried to quell his thoughts as best he could. "As for my companions, I can vouch heartily for the fact that they pose no threat to you in any way. We simply seek refuge from the oncoming soldiers - and to warn the city of Halbad of its impending invasion. We are bearers of tidings, not of bloodshed."
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

  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #95 on: September 12, 2005, 07:22:08 PM »
The sword point dipped slightly yet the green eyes behind it narrowed slightly, still suspicious of the newcomers.  Yas and her group had been running for three days straight and had seen their parents and everyone close to them die at the hands of the enemy.  Her eyes, watered as he thought of their sacrifice.  She sniffed back a sob.  She didn’t have the luxury for this, not now.  The others depended on her.  She’d not be taken in by tricks.  It would be wonderful if these people could help them.  They needed food and had people who were wounded, but… she had to be sure.

Her voice cracked as she spoke, “Who are you?  Where did you come from?  Why do you want to help us?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

  • Adept
  • **
  • Posts: 107
  • Awards Hall of Heroes 5
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #96 on: September 12, 2005, 09:03:07 PM »
Smeed swallowed a sigh of relief. At least this child was going to hear them out before running them through with the sword. He didn't want another scene like the soldier fiasco.
 
Smeed cleared his throat and went on, slightly less nervous. "We are naught but humble travellers, several of us fleeing from the soldiers that have pillaged Palaten. As for why we wish to help... It is the duty set us by the Lord to look after our neighbors," he finished, drawing from his meagre stores of religious quotations. No doubt Tantus would want his say in that sort of thing as well.
 
The thought of the bugbear gave Smeed another idea. "One among us is learned in the arts of healing," he continued, glancing down at his bound wrist as he spoke. The pain was still present, but marvelously diminished. "While his appearance is... rough, I have learned through experience that he is a worthy creature nonetheless."  
 
Smeed refrained from looking at the massive monk - he felt a wave of humiliation cross his face as he remembered how he had shunned the bugbear before. Hopefully the monk would realize that this was his way of apologizing for that.
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

  • Extreme
  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 351
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #97 on: September 12, 2005, 09:09:40 PM »
It would be a bit of an understatement to say that his was not going well.  Grumple's "bacon was in the fire", not the warthogs'.  Knocked off the sow by the boar's charge, Grumple fell over on his back and was immediately under the shredding tusks of the furious pig, which had a serious weight advantage on Grumple.  The troll's feet, which were almost as dexterous as his hands, held the furious animal back briefly while Grumple scrabbled in the dirt for a grip.  Grumple's powerful hand clawed up a large rock.  He swung it with tremendous force into the side of the warthog's head, and it staggered back.

With that lucky break, Grumple sprang up and ran up to the tree, climbing up as fast as possible, which was barely fast enough.  The boar chased him, and circled the tree several times raging and snorting.  It grew tired of that, and went back to its mate, who had choked from a crushed larynx.

The boar nudged it a few times, then gathered up the piglets.  With a contemptuous snort in Grumple's direction, they all trundled off into the bush.

Grumple rubbed his bleeding bum.  It hurt to sit on the tree limb, so Grumple stood.  After a few minutes, Grumple carefully climbed down and went to inspect his kill.  Porkchops!  Excellent...  Although a tender piglet would have made a nice snack later on.

The sow wouldn't fit in the bag, and was too heavy to carry very far for a little troll.  Grumple needed both hands to drag it, so Grumple stuck the spear into the pig's shoulder and dragged it by its hind legs.  

It was frustrating.  The spear kept falling out, but he couldn't bear to leave it behind.  Finally, Grumple had to wrap one hand around the spear and the pig's leg at the same time.  As if the weapon was having a hissy fit for missing out on the hunt, it managed to nick his fingers once or twice, so Grumple had to drag both the spear and the pig by their respective butt ends back to his friends.
"Stop thinking, and Dream."  /  Selene Nightwalker

Offline POG

  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #98 on: September 13, 2005, 02:40:39 AM »
Yas lowered her sword, “OKâ€? she said.  ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“OKâ€? she said more loudly.  Five more figures materialized from the gloom around them.  They were children, all younger than Yas.  They were dirty, disheveled and had the vacant stares of those who had seen things no child should see.  They carried crude makeshift weapons, farming implements and such.   One had a kitchen cleaver and looked as if he wasn’t afraid to use it.  Their clothes were not much more than rags.

Baldwin admired their gumption and their woodcraft.  They had stayed quiet and unseen while Yas approached from the front.  That took tactics and discipline, their ability to fight, he looked dubiously at their weapons, was questionable.

They fell in step behind Smeed, Rory, Holly and Baldwin as they walked deeper into the woods.  Yas told Smeed that the other survivors were in a clearing just ahead.  They walked around a large boulder just in time to behold…

Grumple stumbling out of the brush, bleeding bum and all, dragging his grisly trophy, trailing blood.  The troll looked like an apparition from the gates of hell brought to life.  He gnashed his teeth and spoke in Trollshaw, “Hello friends.â€?

To Yas and the other refugees the simple greeting sounded as if the troll was preparing to rend the flesh from their bones.  His toothy smile was the opposite of helpful.

As quickly as rabbits the five refugees who had been hiding fled in various directions.  Yas drew her ornamental sword and assumed a fighting stance…
"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

  • Grand Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 626
    • Awards
The Last War
« Reply #99 on: September 13, 2005, 11:38:23 AM »
"Please do not worry, he is no more harm than me or the rest of our group, he has been hunting for food, although his appearance is some how, disturbing, but he is off no harm, he only means well" Holly walked over to Grumple and bent down, "i shall take the boar" she said slowly trying to make the troll understand, she walked to the boar and shouldered it, it was heavy, but heavy was nothing, Holly could deal with heavy, she was stronger than she looked, she walked forward towards the girl, "we offer this boar to show that we are only here to help, and would be delighted if you will feast with us tonight, if you fight with one of us then you fight with the others" she looked at the young girl hoping that she understood that they were not there to fight, the battle back at the other clearing, had been tiresome, and not many of them had had a good night sleep.
'What goes up!! Must come down,"