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Author Topic: Homecomings (Chap III)  (Read 44619 times)

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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #100 on: January 03, 2008, 06:46:59 PM »
The Hall of Havoc
Within the keep, the adventurers and their foes clashed in battle as silent as it was ferocious.  Czolba's crossbow bolt sparked off the evil priest's breastplate just as toothless Moroth slammed into the dark acolyte, his huge axe carving a channel in the man's spaulder.  Although his half-strapped armor was rent by the mighty blow, the evil man seemed unharmed:  His dark gods favored him indeed!

A hideous glee filling his features, the cleric tried to close with Kadarin, hoping to pen the mage within his magical silence, but Delsordo anticipated the move:  He tackled the depraved priest, seeking to grapple.  Staggering backward, the champion of Scarnach almost evaded his foe's grasp, but Delsordo's skills served him well: Seizing the man's armored leg, he twisted and brought the priest down.

A few feet away, orcish battle fury crashed into the man's undead thralls.  Unhindered by chivalry or kindness, the two orcs rained blows onto their foes.  Any living force would have fallen back before the humanoids' axes, but this time, they faced foes without fear or caution.  Pallid, feminine arms driven by unclean magic tore into the orcs with inhuman strength.  The two orcs were overcome in seconds, smashed by their hideously vacant-eyed foes.

Winning clear of the silence, Kadarin uttered the incantation of his web spell.  The undead things that had so horribly rent their orcish allies were hopelessly ensnared, but struggled to free themselves with the relentless patience of the dead.  The web would not hold them forever.

In the doorway, Dujek crouched to prepare his firebombs.  His reactions sharpened by years of evading peasant mobs, he ducked just in time to see a crossbow bolt from the courtyard silently glance off the stone where his head had been.  A trio of camp followers in the courtyard had heavy crossbows, and were taking potshots at the party!  Turning to warn Czolba of the menace, he realized that a massive quarrel had soundlessly struck the mercenary's shoulder.  Pale with pain, Czolba staggered a few steps, then collapsed unconscious upon the stairs.  Bright red stained his battered surcoat, spreading rapidly from the tiny wound.

The Captain's Fall
Across the courtyard, a group of brigands held firm, sheltered between a large rack of polearms and an upturned, shattered wagon.  With sibilant whispers, their grease-spattered leader pointed out targets for a pair of archers, each armed with selfbows.  Three more bandits stood before them, two fending off the cavalrymen with rusty pikes while the other held a blood-encrusted bill-guisarme aloft. 

Grabbing a fallen lance as his nimble steed wove across the courtyard's ruins, Lance Commander Salleer gathered his riders to crush the defiant bandits once and for all.  "For Nimz!  For Nimz!"  his voice rang out, as he spurred his steed.

Perhaps he should not have drawn such attention to himself.  The cunning mercenary called "Quiet Kalque" whispered, and arrows peppered the commander's horse, dropping it beneath him.  His men flinched away from the pike-armed bandits, turning off to the side as the brigands jeered.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2008, 10:44:40 AM by Wulfhere »
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #101 on: January 04, 2008, 11:36:03 AM »
The Lethal Touch
In the hall’s dim recesses, none had seen the dark paste smeared across the gadlings of the dark acolyte’s gauntlets.  Struggling and squirming in Delsordo’s grasp, his wild swing barely scratched the wily grappler.

It was enough.  Within seconds, the mercenary warrior felt his muscles refusing his command.  Convulsions swept through Delsordo as the poison-armed priest pulled free.  “Feel the benediction of Scarnach, you fool!” laughed the vile man.

(OOC: The priest had a natural 20, then Delsordo boofed his save.  He needs someone with healing skill to aid him ASAP.)

From the Ashes
“Let him come!” cried Bearbaiter to his men.  “Come to me and die, worm of Nimz!”  The mercenary’s hideous visage twisted in half a smile as the adventurer thundered toward him.

Passing the bandits, Vee’s steed brought him face to scarred face with the disfigured mercenary.  Dodging under the man’s flickering blade with gods-blessed agility, the adventurer’s axe tore into the lighter mail defending the villain’s armpit.  A line of dark blood oozed from the wound.  With lightning speed, the two nimble foes struck, dodged, and parried, a dance of lethal blades.

Behind their duel, something moved within the courtyard’s burning debris.  Rising from his fallen mount, Commander Salleer drew his sabre.  “You would have bandits mock you?  By the Peregrine Tower, follow Vee!”  Breaking into a charge, the nobleman’s voice rose again, “Now!  Crush them!  For Nimz!”

The riders that had turned aside from the guarding pikes of Quiet Kalque’s men converged on Bearbaiter’s less organized force.  A vengeful lust filling their eyes, the sons of Nimz rode down the fools that had sneered at them.  As others desperately dodged, bandits fell beneath their churning hooves and slashing sabres. 

Across the courtyard, Quiet Kalque glared at his allies’ ruin with his dark, calculating eyes.  His once-fine robe was a ruin of filth and grease, making its heraldic decoration almost invisible, but the exiled nobleman’s abilities were not so decayed as his attire.

“Advance on them,” he hissed to his debased retinue, gesturing with his longsword as they moved forward.

Arrows tore into the riders as the brigands closed on them, but the Nimzian militia rode undaunted.  Thrusting pikes clashed against sabres as the silent mercenary led his men against the Nimzian flank.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2008, 11:52:13 PM by Wulfhere »
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Offline valadaar

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #102 on: January 04, 2008, 07:18:22 PM »
Kadarin saw Delsordo's fall and was filled with dispair and fear.  Again he would trust the vaguries of fate, for he drew out his wand of Chaos and unleashed it upon the cleric, hoping something useful would happen.  The last of its energies blasted out and....


   
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #103 on: January 04, 2008, 08:52:49 PM »
... a massive beast shimmered into existence within the shadowy hall, angrily snorting as its short legs pawed the ground.  A bizzare, porcine monstrosity with mud-encrusted, almost hairless grey hide and massive tusks jutting from its snout, it seemed filled with hostility at whatever disturbed it.  Somehow Kadarin sensed that the ire in the clumsy beast's piggish eyes was directed toward his foes: The dark priest and his undead allies.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2008, 01:56:38 PM by Wulfhere »
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #104 on: January 04, 2008, 09:33:55 PM »
To his shock, Kadarin realized the Wand of Chaos had not withered or crumbled, as was common among such implements once their powers had been drained.  Instead, it had transformed, now resembling a bronze hand mirror!  Unfamiliar letters wound across the mirror's surface, oddly-shaped glyphs in archaic script.
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Offline Pariah

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #105 on: January 05, 2008, 03:28:41 PM »
Grabbing the burning brand from the returned Koschei, Dujek grinned, a sight made all the more abhorring by his slack jaw and misshapened skull.  Lighting the two bottles, he charged, angling his approach so that he'd have no friends between him and the priest.  Closing to about two body lengths he threw the first firebomb.

OOC: Close to 10ft and throw one of the two bottles.  Burn, baby burn.
One can cure oneself of the not un- formation by memorizing this sentence: A not unblack dog was chasing a not unsmall rabbit across a not ungreen field.  Orwell

(13:23:49) (Chinchillas): See? You can write like an 4$$h013 when you're not writing like a pompous 4$$h013.

Offline valadaar

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #106 on: January 06, 2008, 07:05:35 AM »
Pointing towards the Dark Cleric, Kadarin said one word - "Kill..."

   
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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #107 on: January 07, 2008, 01:19:39 AM »
The battle was turning poor, and there was entirely too much Nimzian blood already spilled, but Vee felt a moment of surprise. It was no wonder, these lancers were light cavalry, their mounts unarmored. The soldiers were loosing their advantage facing the mercenaries from standing horseback. Already a number of the animals had been cut down as their riders hacked and slashed, the Captain's mount was down, and Vee imagined Greydahl to be a footman at heart, toe to toe until the bloody end.

heaving with the axe, Vee swung at Bearbaiter and chopped deep into the mercenary's armored shoulder, the axe coming away spattered with blood and grime. The rogue kicked his horse, turning the animal away from the brigands and circling out of close combat, he whistled as he moved away. Another band of mercenaries was moving to flank them, the riders needed to pull out and regroup, they needed to be moving, hitting and dividing the mercenaries so that the double-riders could take them apart in ones and twos instead of letting them clump together and form ranks.

"Regroup! regroup!" Vee shouted.

(OOC ~ Mounted men move out of standing combat and form up on Vee, double riders fall back into defensive position. Prepare to mount organized attack after survey of next combat round/s)


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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #108 on: January 07, 2008, 02:32:39 PM »
With the clumsy momentum of a runaway wagon, the supernatural pig lumbered forward, its baleful gaze fixed on the acolyte of fell Scarnach.  The dark priest desperately tried to scramble clear, but he wasn't nimble enough.  The necrophagic beast's tusks savagely tore at him while he beat at it ineffectually with his mace.

Unnerving grunts of porcine wrath echoed from the chamber's stone walls.

(more to come...)
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #109 on: January 07, 2008, 03:34:11 PM »
Taken aback by his comrades' swift fall at the hands of the undead, Moroth paused briefly in indecision.  Suddenly, a sinister figure dashed by him:  The necromancer Dujek, flasks of flaming death clutched in each pale hand!

With a careful sidearm throw, the misshapen mage hurled a flask at the dark priest's chest, only to curse viciously as the thrice-d**ned acolyte stumbled sideways at just the wrong time!  Dujek's missile shattered ineffectually behind its target as the man's accursed luck spared him once more.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2008, 06:55:44 PM by Wulfhere »
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Offline valadaar

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #110 on: January 07, 2008, 05:42:04 PM »
 Death behind, and death in front. Kadarin be d**ned, but no retreat was open. Ah well, when in doubt... The huge orc strode foward to take a swing at the now distracted Cleric.

 "Aaaaaargh!!!!"


   
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #111 on: January 08, 2008, 02:57:13 AM »
Kicking aside the remains of a rotted bench, Moroth descended like a wrathful god upon the servant of Scarnach.  The wicked man’s eyes opened wide as the huge orc’s vengeful axe whistled down one last time.

Blood pooled around the fallen priest as his patron’s beloved insects swiftly descended to collect their due.

Quiet as his namesake, Mouse ran to aid Delsordo, the mercenary that had become a friend.  The grappler was twitching and thrashing, blood running freely from his nose as the slightly-built youth tried to restrain his rebellious body.  Red welts ran across Delsordo’s cheek, poisoned gift of the murderous priest’s barbed gauntlet.

Ensnared by Kadarin’s magical web, the undead pawns of the priest struggled to escape their entanglement.  Inch, by inch, their untiring power slowly tore at the strands of their prison.

Bearbaiter’s Gambit
Bearbaiter didn’t know what to do.  One moment, he had a solid force around him, then, moments later, his men were torn to bloody shreds by slashing blades and cruel hooves.  The only intact force left was Quiet Kalque’s:  The thought of that supercilious worm’s criticism tore at Bearbaiter’s guts like a brand.  He couldn’t let that noble-born vermin claim he’d “saved” Bearbaiter’s men!

“At them!” he urged the battered handful of his remaining followers.  “Cut them down before they break loose!”  He lunged at the leather-clad rogue that had challenged him, but the man evaded his strike once again.  Curse the man’s speed!

His surviving men, desperation in their eyes, struck out viciously.  Two more riders were wounded and one fell before their horses carried them to safety.  Barely conscious, the fallen rider lay at the mercy of the vicious mercenaries.

Barreling forward on foot as the riders retreated, Sergeant Greydahl pitched into the fight.  “Get back, you filth!” shouted the veteran as he brandished a fallen lance.  Beside him, young Rhunwald leapt forward, his lance glancing off an overzealous bandit’s helm. 

From behind a half-collapsed tent, four more bandits rushed to regroup with Quiet Kalque’s band, pursued by the two double riders.  One turned to heave a javelin, scoring a solid hit on the hitherto unwounded rider.  It was the last mistake the bandit ever made, as the man’s horse smashed him down as easily as if he’d been made of straw.  One of his companions, slower than the others, looked fearfully behind at his pursuers… and found himself shorter by a head.

"For Nimz!"  shouted the double riders triumphantly!
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Offline valadaar

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #112 on: January 08, 2008, 06:37:17 AM »
With the demise of the foul cleric, Kadarin turned his attention to the struggling undead.  "Blessed Swine, destroy!" said Kadarin, pointing to the forms.  He moved over to Mouse to see what could be done and to help drag the warrior away from the vile horde.


   
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #113 on: January 08, 2008, 04:53:38 PM »
Salleer, unmounted, and three of the other riders rallied around the uncanny rogue, Vee guagued the field and it was starting to look grim. Bearbaiter's band was looking near broken and ragged, but a second band of mercenaries was banding up near a dour faced warrior in tattered finery. Vee looked to the lancers, they were solid and dependable men and would be even moreso after this battle. Discipline and innovation were Nimzian ideals, and even if he fell and Salleer fell and Greydahl fell he didn't think the other lancers or double-riders would retreat or surrender. There was a sense of pride in hailing from the clockwork city, defending her walls and her treasures.

Vee unslung his crossbow slamming the lever home and loading the weapon. The silent leader directed his men, shouting. They were mercenaries, they followed out of fear, or promise of loot. Without their leaders... the one he had disarmed had already ran, breaking the resolve of a good number of other would be fighters. He sighted down the weapon, his finger firm on the release, he pulled.

(Chat with Wulf, roll roll)

The bolt whizzed through the air and through the open face of Kalque's helmet. The brigand leader was shouting one moment and silenced the next as the iron head of the bolt tore through the soft flesh of his cheek. The bolt came to a stop against the back of his skull, ending the life of the cleric-warrior. The man staggered and fell, his last thoughts not of the battle in the plaza, or the arrogant and scruffy looking vagabond that lead the lancers, but of his scattered bastard children, and the debts he still owed to their mothers, and the book he had borrowed with every intention of returning. Grignard wouldn't get his copy of Hymns of Battle back now.

Vee shouted as the leader fell, the lancers raising their own weapons and adding their own cheers!


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Offline Murometz

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #114 on: January 08, 2008, 10:44:12 PM »
"you missed. Again." Koschei hissed sagely.

Ignoring his friend and confidant for the moment, Dujek instead let out a curse, between his breath, and turned from the priest to survey the scene. It seemed the priest was occupied with some monstrous pig, but help was needed elsewhere.

Turning toward's Bear-baiter's crew, Dujek began to cough up words of arcana from somewhere deep inside his frail center. Contorting his hands like spigots, he grimaced, then croaked some indecipherable sound, and finally wisps of putrid, acidic smoke began to rise around the necromancer, and slowly coalesced, floating toward Bear-baiter's bloodthirsty posse.

He spied Vee suddenly.

Lets give Kalque's mob a chance to turn tail, Dujek thought and grinned.

Look at what the cloud does, he whispered maniacally to himself, but in Kalque's direction, look at what the cloud does to your comrades.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 02:22:35 PM by Murometz »
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Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #115 on: January 09, 2008, 12:01:29 PM »
The Miasma of Death
As his mercenary rival went down, “Bearbaiter” struggled to keep the fear from his voice:  There was still hope; they could still defeat these riders!  Quiet Kalque’s men had already begun to fall back, unmanned by their leader’s sudden fall.  “Keep on them, you whoresons!” raved Bearbaiter.  “They’re on their la…”

The sellsword’s words were swallowed by a sudden hellish miasma, a haze of vile greenish vapor rising from the ground like the corrupted essence of the vengeful dead.  Bearbaiter struggled to speak, but the disgusting cloud tore at his guts like a living thing, forcing him to claw at his helm before he filled it with vomit.  Through the mist he could see one of his men doubled up in nausea, while two others stumbled from the foul, clinging cloud.  One of the wenches with the crossbows got out, too, but the other two had fallen to hands and knees, helplessly heaving their guts out.

The camp followers had shot just as the cloud had risen around them.  Their wild shots finished one rider’s already-wounded horse; another bolt had narrowly missed the crossbow-armed adventurer, passing unnoticed as he had taken aim at Kalque.
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Offline valadaar

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #116 on: January 09, 2008, 12:31:23 PM »
After having decapitated the dark cleric, Moroth roared in triumph and turned to see what foes remained.  The horde of zombies were trying to break free of the webs and would any moment now.  Seeing his companion 's corpses nearby filled him with rage and he charged, hoping to kill at least one before they broke loose.

Kadarin thought that they needed to get out, quickly, before the undead broke free and trapped them, so he quicky enlarged himself as well and picked up Delsordo to get away from the undead. 
   
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #117 on: January 09, 2008, 06:28:31 PM »
The Orcish veteran’s huge axe descended again and again, some blows halted by the entangling strands, but others raining down on the undead that had slaughtered his allies. 

Beside him, the massive form of the Yird Swine tore into the web, partially entangling itself in its lust to rend the undead within.  As one of the animated cadavers reached it, the creature’s rending tusks raked into it.  In moments, the unliving maiden froze into immobility:  Easy meat for the porcine scourge.

Outside, the bandits realized that their mercenary leaders had fallen, dead or incapacitated.  A few started to fall back, and fear seized the remainder.  In seconds, a rout had begun.

“Nimz!” shouted the riders, as they spurred in pursuit of the broken foe!
"Nothing real can defeat us:  Nothing unreal exists."
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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #118 on: January 10, 2008, 02:48:34 AM »
Vee shouted, letting his horse wheel around and toss it's head. The animal knew it's people were happy and added it's own loud whinny to their cheers. Some of the lancers made to chase after the brigands and mercenaries, but the rogue shouted, "Heel to lads, heel to! We've wounded to tend and prisoners to bind. He dismounted from his borrowed mount, passing the reins to Salleer, better for the men to see their 'official' leader mounted and the Nimzian ex-patriot back on his own feet.

Several of the riders and Salleer rode out and took down a few stragglers and wounded mercenaries, leaving Vee and Greydahl to the bloody task of tending the wounded and closing the eyes of the dead. Vee scowled as he felt for his packets of dolor powder, it was most effective in a draught, good curative for a hang-over, but dumped directly into a wound it could staunch most any wound not spurting blood. He pulled a single pouch, likely his last and tossed it to one of the double-riders, "See if that will do you any good, lad."

Vee was facing Bearbaiter, now helm-less and gagging on his own vomit, one of the double-riders, a clean shaven whip of a man at his side. "You can come along quietly and I'll see that you don't hang. Or," He worked the lever of the crossbow, "You can bleed out here."


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Offline valadaar

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #119 on: January 10, 2008, 01:08:42 PM »
Kadarin moved over Delsordo, taking advantage of his magically enhanced size and strength to help restrain the struggling wrestler.

He searched his memory for what little he knew of poisons.  He was familiar with alchemical toxins, but there was no time for detailed study now.

"Mouse - unless you have a better idea, get some water to flush his wounds, and take care to avoid the blood!"


   
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #120 on: January 12, 2008, 11:48:52 PM »
The supernatural swine and Moroth's axe continued their grim work, decimating the undead as they reached the edges of the web.  Moroth was clearly tiring, but the huge orc pressed on with his task, even as coagulated gore dripped from his axe and splattered down his massive form.

Elsewhere in the hall, Delsordo seemed to be weakening.  The mute grappler's convusions were weaker now, as the dark cleric's poison steadily weakened him.  Mouse desperately heaved at the evil man's corpse, untangling a full waterskin from where it lay beneath the acolyte's satchel.

Bringing the skin back to Delsordo, the youth rinsed his fallen comrade's inflamed wounds.
"Nothing real can defeat us:  Nothing unreal exists."
- Buckaroo Banzai

Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #121 on: January 13, 2008, 12:03:20 AM »
Within the courtyard, riders struggled to bind each others' wounds and secure their prisoners.  The butchers' bill was substantial:  Several of the men and horses were beyond saving by the time the men came to them.  Help came too late for Czolba:  He lay strangely at peace on the keep's steps.

Despite their noble upbringing, the sons of Nimz were none too gentle as they cuffed and kicked their prisoners into the center of the courtyard, binding their arms behind them.  A few of the prisoners were fortunate enough to be chained:  Manacles that they had once used on their prisoners now restrained them.  "Bearbaiter" sat among them in abject misery, shivering with reaction as he recovered from the effects of the terrible mist.

As they searched and restrained the bandits, their weapons and other gear was gathered into heaps (even as many coins and trinkets swiftly disappeared into riders' pockets and purses).
"Nothing real can defeat us:  Nothing unreal exists."
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #122 on: January 13, 2008, 12:06:11 AM »
Vee scowled at the bodies of the dead, man and horse alike. The butcher's bill was never cheap, but there a great many more dead mercenaries than dead Nimzians, the crows would feed well. Salleer and Greydahl seemed to have things well in hand, the survivors were being bound and shoved to the center of the plaza. Stripped or their scabby armor and weapons they were a miserable bunch and for most of them, their destination was the gaol at the very best, and most of them would likely find their necks dangling from the noose. Vee turned his attention to Bearbaiter only long enough to recover his whip.

He dashed inside the building, finding Czolba dead and Delsordo under some sort of ill effect. Vee handed Kadarin the vials he had, magnesium phosporus and a third unmarked vial. "If these can be of any help, they are yours." Vee said and left to search for the Professor...

He spared a glance at the gore spattered orc cleaving at the zombies, and then making a quizzical expression at the large pig that seemed to be eating the zombie chunks. The rogue shuddered at the thought.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2008, 12:16:43 AM by Scrasamax »


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Offline valadaar

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #123 on: January 13, 2008, 02:05:19 PM »
Since Delsordo appeared in no danger of hurting himself with his convulision, Kadarin moved over to help mouse, effortlessly turning the cleric to free him.

Perhaps he carries the antidote he thought, rummaging through the clerics gear. Perhaps he would simply call upon his dark diety to cure him said another voice in his mind, which he ignored.  Where IS it...

   
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Homecomings (Chap III)
« Reply #124 on: January 13, 2008, 08:31:42 PM »
Vials and parchment-wrapped bundles spilled forth from the cleric's satchel:  Some jars were cryptically marked with sigils of necromantic portent, while other items were clearly spell components.  Kadarin quickly set aside a number of items as irrelevant, but recognized the "Pev" rune on several items:  It was a common alchemical shorthand for "poisonous", but he didn't recognize all of the other abbreviated markings. 

They couldn't all be toxins, he conjectured.  Something here had to be an antidote for the poison.
"Nothing real can defeat us:  Nothing unreal exists."
- Buckaroo Banzai