War Pigs
I’m nae gonna enumerate the finer points of how t’shop fer the implements of various trades that will keep ye from gettin’’ yer head separated from yer shoulders or from freezin’ what tail ye have left square off as it’s fair borin’ even t’those what was there but suffice it t’say that after three days Fearghus had a proper shield from Brodie and some lacy pyjamas as well… heh, I’m just skinnin’ him a bit but chainmail is akin t’lace in a round ‘bout way so’s it’s nae pure fabrication, and we had refortified our kit t’the point that it would support life outside of city walls. There’s little as amusin’ as seein’ a dwarf astride a horse unless it’s watchin’ him, the dwarf nae the horse, walk after a full day in the saddle – sort of a stolid waddle that tries t’limp on both legs without drawin’ attention. ‘Twould’ve been rude t’laugh out loud so’s I nae gave myself the pleasure though I like t’choked in the managin’ of it.

Bein’ close t’inhabited areas makes fer uneventful travel which is all well and good so long as a body manages t’keep their eyes sharp and their wits about ‘em which is why on our fourth day out I note that Arcelli, the dwarf and I are eyein’ the same spinnin’ bit of fur out in the near distance as we broke bread at midday. Less than a bow’s shot away from the five of us, ten if ye count the horses, is a coyote spinnin’ itself int’a lather tryin’ t’catch its tail. Now I’ve seen pups and the occasional hound do this but ne’er a wild critter. Arcelli says it’s fair common as they’re all the same under their fur but I’m nae so sure on that as every wild critter I’ve seen in my wanderin’ has shied away from man and horse unless it was aimed on mischief. Fearghus and Raylen finally turn around t’see what we three are gawpin’ at and our Araldite friend slides off Favo and moves closer fer a better look ‘bout the same time the critter takes a notice of we lot starin’ at it and decides to sally forth. Arcelli must’ve been waitin’ fer it as he let loose an arrow that whinged past Fearghus an int’the critter followed shortly by a bolt from Raylen’s crossbow which plocked it square betwixt the eyes and put it down which turned out t’be a right charitable thin’ as it was foamed and slaverin’ with disease such that even the fellers dinnae take any trophies from it.

We’d gone a fair bit more as we’d been pushin’ a bit t’make good time what with us needin’ t’be as quick about our business as possible t’give Namen as much time fer craftin’ as we could. Granted we’re lookin’ at the better portion of a moon just t’get t’the Fence and then we’ll have t’ scour out one of them big-arsed rams so the less time squiggldypissin’ around we do the better. I was tendin’ fire and gettin’ the pot on t’boil as is my habit when we set camp and Arcelli and his stunty accomplice was finishin’ up with the tent as Fearghus and Raylen were finishin’ up gettin’’ the horses bedded down when the priest lets out a holler fit t’wake the dead as Kalpes made it clear he nae wanted his feedbag quite so tight or somesuch by troddin’ Raylen’s foot under his steel-shod hoof. Of a sudden from the brambles some ten paces t’the west pops out two skreelin’ boars fair chaffed that we’d had the audacity t’make camp so close t’their beddin’.

I was fair shocked t’see ‘em bristled up and pawin’ the ground fit t’charge death itself and when I’m startled the oddest thin’s pop int’my head; boar -> pig -> bacon -> grease which is exactly what I did under the bigger of the two which sent it trotters up as it slipped around on what had been firm ground. The smaller of the two headed straight fer Fearghus who was in turn headed straight fer it havin’ grabbed his mace and shield from the pile of gear at his feet on his run forward. Bardemer loosed a bolt at the beastie as it rumbled up but nae led it enough as the bolt went wide behind its twitchin’ li’l tail and it gave Fearghus a fair awful pinch and tear with those tusks. All my gear was still back by Canuto so’s I shagged it back t’grab what-so-ever might be useful.

Every time I looked over my shoulder it seemed the pig was takin’ a bite out of Fearghus which meseemed a bit turvy but dwarf and Aral were givin’ it good licks now and again havin’ surrounded it so’s I was nae over worried. I could hear cussin’ from the other side of the tent but could nae see a damnable thin’ what with the tent blockin’ most of my view. Canuto was faunchin’ at the lead and tossin’ his head so’s I decided him bein’ better in a fight than me I’d let him have at and set t’untyin’ him stealin’ quick looks over my shoulder t’see if we were havin’ pork fer dinner or if it was havin’ us. Fates had it that at least one of the beasties went down and I glanced in time t’see Fearghus and the dwarf hie toward the south side of the tent so’s I headed that direction with Canuto on a long lead after grabbin’ my aid kit from my gear as I was fair sure it would be needed.

I saw Arcelli standin’ by the corner of the tent but could nae see Raylen though I could hear him occasional-like but unfortunately it dinnae sound good. Just as I rounded the corner I saw Fearghus movin’ forward and Bardemer runnin’ up on the boar’s flank as Raylen went down like a sack of hammers. That set me t’cussin’ and holdin’ back on the lead so’s Canuto would nae run up and trample Raylen, if he was still amongst the quick which I dire hoped he was, whilst makin’ me wonder what in the Nine Hells Arcelli was doin’ lettin’ the priest stand up there alone. I’d nae long t’wonder as Fearghus charged up and caved in the beastie’s skull with an overhand swing that was a true thin’ of beauty instant-like sendin’ it t’whate’er little piggy afterlife awaited it.

I dropped Canuto’s lead whilst runnin’ t’Raylen seein’ that he was still breathin’ though leakin’ from a half dozen nasty gores and grabbed what bandages and packin’ was needed t’fix the holes in our friend priest did just that after skinnin’ him out of his armor. Part of his color came back which was a right good thin’ as I was approachin’ double chaffed at the situation and havin’ a corpse t’lug around would have pushed me t’square-on livid. I bit my tongue fer the nonce and hefted Raylen int’the tent. When I came out the fellers were talkin’ about huntin’ down the piglets which was pretty much the last scrap fer my temper as it was absurd t’think that the little blighters would still be anywhere near AND perhaps the area should have been better scouted before we set up – t’which end I’m nigh on certain we need t’have a specific routine we follow when settin’ up so’s we’re nae caught with our collective knickers around our ankles again but I’m digressin’.

I lit up the bushes where the nest was and fer a certainty they’d hied out of there long gone but as logic is the last thin’ a chaffed Aral woman has in her possession I scalded the fellers up both sides and they decided alone in the dark was safer than in camp… which it probably was given my mood at that particular time. I kept the fire high and a sharp eye on Raylen who seemed t’be stable enough and racked out when the fellers returned. The next mornin’ I supplemented my bandages with a little magic and Raylen was well on the right side of the darkest veil and able t’look after the other fellers what had wounds as well at which point it was decided that takin’ a day of rest wouldn’t hurt our schedule too much so’s I commenced t’preservin’ as much pork as I could since it was a damn-sight cheaper – since everyone survived – than buyin’ it at market. I suppose hangin’ out with Auntie Mo has paid off in more ways than just a full belly!
Session: Woo! Road Trip!! - Friday, Aug 05 2011 from 5:45 PM to 3:45 AM
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If ye thought I was comin' back with anythin' less than three of th' li'l squeelers, yer mad. Good thing we managed ta find five of 'em or else I'd still be beatin th' bush...