Journal Posts

Tag: battle

In my blue world...
It should be obvious plain that we nae ended up like the aforementioned hobs as we’re sittin’ here partakin’ of this fine mead an’ meal an’ nae festerin’ in a pile of gargoyle dung… unless they shite pebbles or rocks or somesuch… ye’d have t’ask Arcelli as he’s the undisputed regional expert on the scatological habits of the fauna of both sides of the Rhenia Majors. Tablein’ that discussion t’a time when we’re nae eatin’, however, I’ll continue.

So given that we was forewarned by Raylen’s somewhat vague though still helpful words of warnin’ from Neguma we was vigilant for signs of ambush an’ fair confident that, as workin’ fer a wizard has its perks in the magical armaments department, we should be on a might better footin’ than the ill-fated hobs of the mighty Gashronk tribe. Spring weather in Salpia bein’ what it is, we was enjoyin’ a second day of cold rain as we entered the western pass – Salp luck bein’ what it is there was fog hangin’ less than a stone’s throw over our heads as the pass narrowed down makin’ keepin’ an eye skyward more than a bit of a pain in the arse.

Funny thing ‘bout the inevitable, even if a body is prepared fer it, it can still surprise ye. So ‘twas when a hunk of stone the size of a ox cart come barrelin’ out of the fog above ‘tis safe t’say that one or more of us might have let out a coarse word or three.

So providin’ ye can imagine a oxcart with a wingspan every bit of seven paces across an’ what stands twice the height of Hokur here ye’d have a fair guess as t’what landed right spank in front of Arcelli – which is t’say betwixt Signore Caccitore an’ the rest of us – an’ took a swipe with them great talons what glimmered an’ shone like glass in a temple window.

Now Hokur is havin’ none o’ that so’s he barges right up an’ commences t’tradin’ blows with the beastie allowin’ Arcelli t’get back a bit so’s he can feather it proper without havin’ his head swiped clean off. Raylen’s castin’ as fast as he can pray an’ I’m doin’ likewise, only without the prayin’ part an’ with a fair deal more noise as bards is wont t’do. The beastie, fer its part, was clawin’, an’ bitin’, an’ tossin’ its head an’ dealin’ a powerful drubbin’ t’our doughty McMercson but our openin’ salvo must have hit it fair hard as it was nae able t’take t’wing which would have been worse than it standin’ there tradin’ blows in a tactical sense so’s there was that, but unless one of us other three did somethin’ drastic an’ quick we was gonna be deprived a swordsman in short order and permanent.

So it was that Raylen, havin’ throwed as much of Neguma’s enlightenment the critter’s way as he could t’good use – I swear it looked like the beastie was a lode stone and Arcelli’s arrows were iron filin’s the way they snapped to its hide – sees that Hokur is comin’ up in a bad way so the daft bastard gallops Clod, sorry – gallops Niko right up t’the beastie an’ executes the most amazin’ display of horsemanship I’d seen from him t’date – mind ye, this is the self-same feller what crowned himself king of the door lintels nae more than a fortnight prior. But truth be told, our dear priest managed somehow t’dismount, draw his weapon, an’ whack the beastie in one fell swoop that right rang the critter’s bell but good, an’ more important, took its immediate attention off of Hokur.

Recognizin’ a boon when he seen one, Hokur jumps back t’where I can smack him with a curative chorale that went at least some way t’ward gettin’ him back in the fight afore Raylen got himself squashed. O’course, the beastie was havin’ less luck than a bum in a bordello tryin’ t’hit Raylen so’s Hokur was able t’take the time t’angle in where there was the greatest tactical advantage.

Regardless of bein’ made of stone come t’life an’ big as the aforementioned oxcart, the beastie stood no chance with the three fellers’ concentrated cussedness assisted by what little I could toss in on the side. I nae know who got in the last blow but when the critter passed from this mortal coil it did so in a shower of rubble the likes of which you’ll nae witness unless yer there when lightnin’ hits yer auntie’s out house!
Session: Happy Anniversary, Bizachez! - Saturday, Jun 22 2013 from 6:00 PM to 4:00 AM
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Tags: ambush , Battle
Epic × 2!
Bolly-cocked
The big man put down his tankard to use his hands while he spoke. “Fetchin’ th’strange an’ peculiar is wot we’re paid t’ do, so’s no surprise we be findin’ ourselves ridin’ on untrod paths through th’backside o’civilization high up in those mountains. Aspen bark two hands square was jus’ wot we was lookin’ t’acquire, an’ ye nae be findin’ that in some lowland merchants stall. Them trees jus’ nae be right, bein’ all white instea’ o’ a proper brown bark, so’s goes to reason a wizard a have a use fer ‘em. Nae that we cared, the gold is good an’ it keeps fer interesting tales aside from a fair amount of uninterstin’ travel across th’land.”

“Cor’ iffen I were left t’me own t’find most o’ wot we been sent t’gather, we’d nae be half as successful, bein’ that fightin’ an’ fuckin’s me studies, but that’s wot ye ‘ave a Bard an’ Ranger fer. That, an’ a Priest o’ Knowledge. So’s ‘tween thems that do th’ thinkins an’ me’s that does th’ killins – nae that Arcelli nae brings death a-rainin’ down when he so chooses – we’s been right good at our aforementioned task o’ acquirin’ th’odd an’ peculiars of th’ List.”

“So’s as I were sayins, we be pickin’ our way through some mighty unknown high country t’gather some bark o’ those white trees. Bein’ that th’ pale woods only grow near th’peaks, we had t’go fair far up. An’ anything tha’ goes up must come down, an’ so did we, which wa’ much more likeable a journey.”

Hokur paused while he took a pull of his ale. “Now, Arcelli here is out an’ about, doin’ ‘is lookin’ arounds t’make sure none o’ the local beasties decide we’d make a lovely addition t’their bellies, when wot does he come upon bu’ a trio o’ brutes plottin’ our demise. They was perched above th’trail th’rest o’ us were meanderin’ along, us wit’ nary a care in th’world an’ enjoying th’ lovely countryside.” He grinned broadly. “Aye, we was bored silly an’ nae payin’ any attention t’wot were about t’come at us.”

“Well ole Arcelli decides to ambush th’ambushers, makin’ thems th’ ambushees instead o’ us an’ him now th’ ambusher of th’brutes tha’ were formerly th’ambushers. So he sets up an’ soon as we ride, all niggly-a-do and bolly-cocked unawares inta view, he starts wit’ tha’ bow of his t’give those ogres a few new fashion accessories. Aye, I said ogres. I said they was brutes, wot’d think I meant, some biggish Salp bandit wit’ a bad hairlip? O’cor’ it were a threesome of ogres, wot else would be up int’ hinterlands like that? Ev’n a Salp’ll take t’easier lowlands.”

“Now, ye’d think tha’ once they’d started wit’ sproutin’ feathers, they’da break and things’d get real interestin’ but they was so intent on their plan o’ mayhem, they’d nae gotten t’ message they was now th’ambushee instead o’ ambusher. Th’ one bint whispers t’ th’ other jake what had hopped up an’ hollered when Arcelli feathered his arse t’stay quiet – I’m ‘ere t’ tell ye, an ogre’s whisper is like that o’ a bellerin’ pig caught under a fence rail, and by whisper I mean leanin’ out from behind a tree wit’ her shushin’ and sprayin’ spittle a good ten feet. So’s th’ one ducks back down behind th’rock he were hidin’ behind, which o’cor now his arse is stuck out th’other side an’ wavin’ like a peacock’s tail was Arcelli’s arrows. Now, we’d all seen her shush ‘em, so’s we’ve stopped on th’trail and start addin’ feathers o’our own t’those that Arcelli sendin’ in.”

“Ogres is nae renowned fer intellectual prowess, an’ it appeared we’d stumbled on a right brilliant example o’ tha’, as they nae came a chargin’ out but tried to sneak inta a better position to get th’ drop on us, nae a realizin’ our flingin’ arrows and bolts themways meant their ambush was now busted. Th’ third one, he grabs th’bush he was hidin’ mostly behind and hoists it up, roots an’ all, and makes wit’ th’ eeky-sneaky. Fer truth, seein’ a wobblin’ Ogre try t’ tip-toe holdin’ nothin’ but a buckbrush in front fer cover’s enough t’make any man miss ‘is shot by laughin’, regardless o’ th’fact a good backhand from one o’ them’d send ye flyin’ minus a few teeth at least, or yer head at worst. Th’fella ‘hind th’ rock got enough of Arcelli’s pokin’s an’ decided t’ take a dirt nap. And th’She-ogre … would that be Ogress, Raylen? Or does She-Ogre suffice fer it?” Hokur asked the priest with a quirked brow, as he paused for a drink.

“Ogress would be the proper form, although She-ogre does carry …” Raylen began.

“Ogress it is then! The ogress, she’s all ‘Shhhhh! and spittle spray ev’n as Dirt-boy lets loose a resounding fart as he settles inta dead. Well, that musta settled it fer ‘em, an’ th’ two left decided t’spring th’ambush that were already sprung. Unfortunately fer th’Ogre-inna -bush, leaves nae stop arrows an’ bolts so he be th’next to go deaded.”

“Now as I said afore, fightin’s my area of expertise as such, so’s when the Ogress comes boundin’ down t’ lay inta us, I naturally move t’ th’ fore. And Raylen here reminds me, I’m not at all up to snuff, what with havin’ some lingerin’ effects o’er dealin’ wit’ somethin’ best left untold.” Hokur took another draught before continuing. “Tha’s one o’ th’ problems wit’ traipsin’ ‘round in gods-only-know-wheres, is sometimes ye run inta things that ne’er should see th’ light o’day, ev’n in tale. An’ that’s all I’ve got t’ say on that.”

“So’s the priest here unlimbers that stick o’ his and shakes out a few while Her Ogressship is come boundin’ down th’ slope, wavin’ a small tree o’er ‘er head an’ lookin’ t’ make ‘im a permanent part o’ ‘is saddle. Just as th’ beastie swings, Raylen scoots Clod there t’ th’ side an’ th’ breeze from tha’ blow would’ve been right nice on a warmer day, ‘cept fer th’ dust she raised in findin’ not a crunchy priest’s skull but th’ ground instead. Well Raylen was havin’ none o’ that now, so afore she’d recovered he whirled tha’ mace o’ his around an’ sent a blow straight up inta ‘er nethers that’d make any man flinch an’ lifted ‘er straight up on ’er toes. She musta stood like that a good three heartbeats afore her eyes rolled back in ‘er ‘ead an’ she toppled o’er dead as dead.”

“Aye, with that kind of crunch, it were nae any wonder.” Maeve said with a shudder.
Session: Candygram for Mongo! - Saturday, Feb 16 2013 from 6:15 PM to 3:15 AM
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Epic × 2!
Riders on the storm
Maeve nodded her thanks to the wench for filling her tankard, “Tellin’s dry work. I can sing for a fortnight with nae any worries but let me chat it up for half a turn of the glass and I’m as dry as a biscuit fart.”

Hokur snorted into his mug sending a fine spray of ale onto his hand, “Merc talk out of an angel’s mouth, damn it woman! Ye made me spill!” He shook his head, “If only t’keep ye from any further blasphemies I’ll spell ye fer a bit… where was ye?”

“Just t’the east of nowhere, like as not, that was the next place worth mentionin’,” Maeve prompted.

Hokur set his mug down so as not to spill as he spun his tale with hands and voice, “Oh aye! So, there we was, traipsin’ out of the highlands int’the boggy muck of the lowlands just t’the east of nowhere with Arcelli off doin’ his thing makin’ certain nae any dangers was lurkin’ ahead when out of a bulbous knob of clouds comes two dark blots what’s gettin’ bigger at a fair alarmin’ rate.” Maeve grinned, all mercs were misplaced minstrels in her opinion and Hokur was no exception. “With nae more warnin’ than havin’ just spied ‘em the pair lets off a volley of spikes from their tails what managed two things; one we knew they was manticores and two Maeve taught us all a few choice new words as one of the spikes lodged in her thigh and set her t’spittin’ like a wet cat.” He grinned at the bard and continued, “Now I see Arcelli ridin’ hell-bent for leather toward us over hillock and holler and hear Raylen sayin’ he can thwart the spikes but only for two of the three of us so’s I do the only natural thing and ride out front t’meet the critters on my terms rather than theirs. I figured what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, as they says, and since they was lobbin’ projectiles I could return the favor. It’s a might harder t’hit a flyin’ target than a feller’d think after watchin’ Arcelli do it and as I’ve nae the mastery of the bow that he does, I’m man enough t’say, I missed.”

“He ought t’be good with it, he practically sleeps with the thing,” Maeve offered.

“True enough,” Raylen chimed in, “He practices tirelessly.” Arcelli covered his discomfiture at open praise by glowering into his tankard.

“Head up, man! Yer the best with a bow I’ve seen in a fair piece! Anyways, back t’the flappin’ death closin’ in on us… or me rather as I was closest t’their path. The one in the lead swoops down t’ward me and commences t’whollop me alongside the head what fair rang my bell but not enough t’unhorse me. Now I’ll admit t’havin’ a bit of a temper when it comes t’bein’ cuffed on the head so’s I figured that kind of insult could nae go unanswered for–”

“And blink, he was gone.” Maeve interjected. “And blink, he was back…”

“Right on the bitch’s back,” Hokur finished the troubadour’s interruption. “So, picture it, here’s this critter tryin’ t’gain altitude after havin’ gained nigh ont’ nineteen stone –”

“That’s Aral stone, not Imperial Salp stone mind ye,” Maeve explained quickly.

Hokur shot a look at the bard, “…Nigh Ont’ Nineteen ARAL Stone in the blink of an eye which seriously hindered her – did I mention it was a female? From the rows of teats I saw as she dived at me I knew it was a she critter, always the meanest regardless of species,” he smiled sweetly at Maeve as he continued, “Anyways, it, meanin’ me and my bulk and the fact I had the Dodger out and was pokin’ as many holes in her as I could muster, seriously hindered her ability t’gain any height so’s she decides that she’s gonna roll over and lighten her load by sendin’ me groundward. But I was havin’ none of that. I pins one of her wings with my right leg and grabs fer what purchase I can with my left hand whilst stabbin’ away with the Dodger in my right and evidentially I was nae payin’ attention t’what I was grabbin’ as I came up with a fistful of her armpit hair. This fair distracted her from rollin’ over for the time bein’ and near distracted me from stabbin’ as I briefly contemplated exactly how disgustin’ a handful of manticore pit hair is.”

Maeve nodded solemnly, “Oh aye, and if ye think havin’ yer pit-hairs yanked ain’t distractin’, try it sometime… guaranteed t’bring a tear t’yer eye.”

“I thought ye were too dry t’talk,” Hokur smirked.

The bard smiled behind her tankard, “I’m recoverin’ nicely, thanks, but pray dear sir, continue.”

“Right – so, there I was, ground comin’ up fast as the she-beastie tried t’fling me off her back, and failin’ that tryin’ t’roll over so’s I’d meet the ground afore she did. But I was havin’ none of that. Me and the Dodger continued makin’ with the perforatin’ of her hide and clampin’ with anythin’ that was nae stabbin’ t’keep me on the sunward side of the stone, as they says. In this I was a far sight more successful than the she-beastie was, and like any good rat I knew when it was time t’get off of the ship. Just in the heartbeat before her chin spikes piled int’ the dirt I leapt free and landed in front of her, ready fer whate’er may come next.”

“Fortunately he landed on his head so he was nae hurt overmuch,” Maeve offered as an aside to one of the several tavern patrons who had come close to hear the tale.

Hokur rapped his knuckles against his head, “Aye!” and grinned at his audience, “So, there I was, toe t’talon with a fair chaffed manticore wench–“

“Pardon the interruption Hokur, but wouldn’t that make her a womanticore?” Raylen queried so innocently that no one could discern if he was joking or not and everyone simply stared at him, silently.

Arcelli broke the momentary silence, “Dumbass.”

“Ye’ll have t’ask Neguma on that one, Raylen, I cannae say,” Hokur answered whilst Maeve rested her forehead on the heel of her palm and simply shrugged. The mercenary continued over the stifled snickers and groans of the assembled tavern-goers.

“What?” Raylen shrugged.

“So now we was on the ground, me and the Dodger verses the she-beastie,” he shot a look at the priest, “preparin’ for a proper dust-up. Whilst she’s shakin’ the dirt out of ear and eyeball I’m movin’ closer so’s the Dodger can give her a kiss and a cuddle, which he did t’good effect, but I’m here t’tell ye she landed a tooth-rattlin’ whollop on me that near knocked my nerts int’ my boots, if ye’ll pardon the phrase.” Hokur shook his head, “Well, I was havin’ none of that. I sluiced around t’the side and the Dodger give her a smile that nigh took her head clean off at which point I discovered I might should have zigged instead of zagged, as they says, as I got a full dose of blood and gore straight in the kisser.” The merc made a face and spat at the memory, “And as I’m wipin’ the mess out of my eyes and tryin’ not t’suck any more in with each breath I spy skyward and see the other one bearin’ down on me as if t’make me its cushion for the landin’.”

“Bein’ a mite staggery from the she-beastie’s whollopin’ on me I decided the better part of valor was gettin’ straight the hell out of the way so’s I high-tailed it toward Raylen and Maeve bellerin’ for all I was worth,” he pumped his arms in a pantomime of running.
“Bellerin’? Sounded like laughin’ from where I was sittin’,” Maeve grinned.

“Maybe,” Hokur grinned sheepishly. “Irregardless, I got my arse out of the way in quick enough order that the remainin’ beastie could nae maneuver t’follow me and throwin’ a glance over my shoulder I see that Arcelli has let loose with that devastatin’ volley of his and has feathered the beastie’s arse but good!” he pointed with his chin to the ranger who nodded his agreement. “Now as I’m standin’ there leanin’, on Clod t’catch my breath, Raylen favors me with the blessin’s of Neguma which went a fair ways t’ward refreshin’ me and Maeve favored me with her own little ditty which finished the trick and I was right as a new copper and ready t’manage a new round of bloody mayhem. Seein’s as Raylen was nae usin’ his shield for the moment I borrowed it with his blessin’ and sallied forth t’meet the he-beastie head t’head, as they says – and ye can fair well guess how I figured out it was a feller without me spellin’ it out fer ye!”

Hokur nodded firmly, shoulders set wide, “Right. So there it was, havin’ more or less landed under its own power, right where I could get at it with a good run-up-and-swing which I did t’right good effect as it fell right the fuck over as soon as I touched it with the Dodger. No lie. It was at this point that I see the bloody thing has over a half-dozen of Arcelli’s arrows stickin’ out of it and enough scorch marks t’qualify as burnt toast from Maeve flingin’ magic at it that I cannae claim it as a kill but rather as puttin’ the thing out of its misery.”

“And this little encounter is where I determined that it was a good thin’ we’d nae hired a feller with a lick of good sense; ‘cause good sense will stay a hand in battle and at that point, ye’ve already lost,” Maeve grinned.

“Aye,” Hokur nodded, “And yer right, tellin’ is thirsty work,” as he held up his empty mug.
Session: Sail away, sail away, sail away... - Saturday, Jan 19 2013 from 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM
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Tags: Battle , Mad Plans
Epic!
The song of darkness like a bell...
Hurpety Derpety
Ol' Fearghus Turnbull once
Taunted a dragon he
Then failed to kill;
Damn little wonder that
Drakocologically
This course of action has
Ended up ill.

Soggity Boggity
Green dragon Skyrralix
Harbored a grudge as it
Skulked in the wet;
Waiting and hatching plots
Circumlocutional
Malice and loathsomeness
Blacker than jet.

Blinkety Winkety
Ferry at Meadhainfaire
Set out with thirty-eight
Souls cross the swell;
Proof against acid breath
Unsatisfactory
Broken by vengeance she
Plunged into hell.

Splashity Crashity
Thirty-four innocents
Caught in a battle that
Was not foreseen;
Aral protector acts
Hebetudinously
Falls without fighting to
Skyr'lix the Green.

Sinkety Drinkety
Twenty-five innocents
Joined that dead brawler 'neath
Storm-swollen waves;
We three companions
Ultradefiantly
Knew we must show how a
Hero behaves!

Dragony Agony
Green dragon Skyrralix
Thought it could out-fly a
Gods-favored priest;
Ranger made grasses grow
Entanlementary
Dove in and with one stroke
Slew the damned beast!
Session: Are we there yet? - Saturday, Dec 08 2012 from 6:00 PM to 2:00 AM
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Epic!
And the day keeps on remindin' me...
First light saw Hoyt and Smurfen - I still nae know which was which - hie it on southeast t’ward the main encampment t’get reinforcements whilst Raul and Arcelli spooked off t’go chat with the squirrels or somesuch. I’d nae have thought it, but ‘twould appear that squirrels have a sight more t’say than one’d think as our resident nature boys came back with word that the area was fair crawlin’ with gnolls that was ‘badness’ - as if there was ever a good gnoll - but which I took t’mean the same tainted type we’d run across beforetimes allowin’ that a squirrel’s vocabulary has a fair likelihood of bein’ limited. That said we packed up and headed on t’ward Gratt’s former lodgin’ with nae impediment to our forward progress save the snow and general cussedness of the weather and landscape.

As travellin’ can be borin’ enough in person let alone described second-hand I’ll spare ye the details of the couple days of our meanderin’ what passed uneventful and get t’the good part - that bein’ specifically us bein’ within a day of Gratt’s cave and hearin’ gnoll howls out of the surroundin’ hills in the gatherin’ dusk as we’re settin’ camp. The distance sound travels in that cold and craggy place can be a smidge dodgy t’calculate but the fact that the croonin’ was gettin’ closer was as sure a fact as the critters arrivin’ in the dark of night.

As t’what special form of madness o’ertook us as t’make us nae stoke the watchfires ‘til they tickled the heavens I’ve nae the foggiest clue but for whate’er reason we was essentially squattin’ in the dark listenin’ t’ howls for the better part of the night as it was along the beginnin’ of third watch the circlin’ was done and our beastly friends came t’call - by which I mean that the damnable things changed their caterwaulin’ t’somethin’ completely unnatural which was like t’chill a bloke worse that the weather so’s I set up my own racket - albeit much more tuneful - t’counter the terror they was tryin’ t’inflict. That seemed t’yank their tails pretty well so’s they come in full run hells-bent on makin’ the lot of us dinner.

T’that end one of ‘em near succeeded by landin’ a mighty blow on Raul after which one of the critter’s packmates followed up with another fair nasty swipe that like t’sent our nature-lovin’ friend t’the dark side of the veil afore Cayden could spit. Fortunately Fearghus fared a site better and caved the skull of the gnoll what came snarlin’ and snappin’ at him in all the way betwixt its scraggly shoulders guaranteein’ that ‘twould be the last time that critter tried such a folly and Talasco did a similar favor t’the one within his arms’ reach, though come t’think ont’it, ‘tis hard t’say which was foamin’ at the mouth worse, the Dran chief or that very dead, ex-gnoll. Arcelli’d taken a shot but with the lightin’ conditions what they were switched t’his sword t’be a bit more up-close an’ personal-like which turned out t’be right fortunate as he laid one open from groin t’gullet and reduced the critters’ number by another.

Raylen was prayin’ this entire time, beseechin’ Neguma t’put the fear of the All-Knowin’ in the beasties’ foul little hearts which shook ‘em good… nae enough to keep ‘em from rushin’ up and takin’ a goodly bite out of Arcelli but certainly sufficient t’make ‘em think twice. Raul huddled behind me and Raylen covered him whilst he saw t’his hurts t’keep from becomin’ fertilizer for his belov’d trees and Fearghus, all the while grinnin’ like only an Aral in the midst of battle can, maced another one hard enough t’throw him straight t’whate’er afterlife it is awaits such beasties. ‘Twas at this point that Talasco - and ye’ll pardon me if I turn yer supper here - licks that greatsword of his in a right unwholesome fashion what with it bein’ slathered from hilt t’point in gnoll bits then shakes it at the sky whilst lettin’ out the most gods-awful yowl I ever heard come from human lips. It appeared that ‘twas more than the beastie in front of him could bear as it strait soiled its already mangy fur a heartbeat before the Dran took its head off and received a smart blow from another whilst his back was turned.

I glanced away from the big fellers in time t’see Raylen ring the bell of the critter what had boxed his ears a moment before which nae accounted for how rough our priestly feller looked until I noticed that every time Fearghus took a hit Raylen staggered. Seems he’d done more prayin’ than I’d realized at the onset of our evening’s activities. Raul swatted Talasco on the hindquarters which served t’deliver a boost t’the nutter t’which end he swatted another gnoll hard enough that it thought better of its current endeavor and run off. Arcelli, showin’ some fair swordsmanship, moved betwixt the circlin’ beasties and the druid whilst Raylen exchanged whollops with the critter he’d been arguin’ with. Between his own licks received and whate’er wounds he was takin’ from helpin’ Fearghus, Neguma’s man was knee-buckled and lookin’ sore beset t’stay upright so’s Raul give him a pat which seemed t’revive him fair enough.

Whilst this all is transpirin’ I hear whinnies, yips, and howls comin’ from the horses’ tent though I was fair certain the shape what splatted against the canvas was decidedly more gnoll-shaped than horse-shaped and Favo and Canuto both is cussed critters when riled so ‘twas my hope they’d hold out ‘til one of us could come callin’. Cousin Turnbull and Talasco dropped three more of the beasties in a veritable shower of brains, blood, and gore such that the snows at their feet looked more t’be rumpled red velvet than frozen water in the ruddy glow of what scarce firelight we did have. ‘Twas at this point that somethin’ evidentially snapped inside our dear strider Arcelli as he went chargin’ betwixt a pair of the foul-smellin’ brutes and laid one out cold dead before turnin’ on his heel and doin’ the same service for the other. It was at this point that I caught sight of somethin’ which made me think our proverbial goose may be well and duly cooked.

I saw, shimmerin’ int’ confused existence, the biggest, ugliest, oversized, and hulkin’ badger ever t’draw frosty breath and it was right in the middle of the dust up. Cousin let out a cuss what’d made his Gram wash his mouth out with lye-soap as he crumpled another gnoll int’paste but t’his immediate relief, and mine, the newest furry addition t’the melee appeared t’have a taste for gnolls instead of Arals, Dran, or Salps - and thank ye, I will have another seein’s as tellin’ is thirsty work! One glass, nae the better and nae the worse my body or my soul of it.

Now, since we’ve been subtractin’ and addin’ combatants, let me catch those of ye nae so quick with numbers up on where we stood - Fearghus, Arcelli, Raylen, Talasco, Raul, his badger friend, and me was all upright, if in various states of health, seven beasties was down, five remained fightin’ the fellers, an unknown number was in with the horses, and one had run off... and that’s when it got a smidge hard t’keep track of everythin’ that was goin’ on but suffice it t’say that with Arcelli, Fearghus, and Talasko droppin’ one near every time they swung their arms and the druid, his critter, and Raylen lendin’ support of a martial fashion the numbers of the pack dwindled double-time and three more scampered int’the dark, or at least tried to... aye, three - seems there’d been two havin’ the row with Favo and Canuto which high-tailed it int’the night much the worse for the meetin’ - and I swear by Deredo’s dirty linens, Arcelli, if you make one more crack about horses takin’ on the personality of their riders I’ll bob yer ears myself!

Anyways, as I was sayin’, the last gnoll give up the fight and turned tail but Raul, bein’ more than a bit chaffed at the evening’s events, flung his hand in the beastie’s general direction and caught it with a rime of pale illumination what glittered’ with an almost ethereal cast... like hoarfrost in the moonlight or spring lilies on the lochs, which was more than sufficient for Arcelli to target the retreatin’ shape and put a shot right through its black heart, successfully endin’ its career of bloody mayhem. The others was long gone so’s we were able t’take stock of the situation.

Whether by luck or design everyone - man and horse alike - was on their uprights if somewhat the worse for wear so’s we decided t’make a short day of it by findin’ a more defensible campsite and catchin’ the winks we’d missed the night before, gatherin’ wood t’burn gnoll bodies, healin’ who and what we could, and, at Talasco’s direction, sendin’ Nifad’ran a burnt offerin’ of Ol’Tara-tainted beasties as some sort of evidence of atonement fer lettin’ a youngblood fall before his first beardin’ which took the better part of the rest of the next day as well which suited me fine as we was certain t’be at full force when we hiked out.
Session: What?! another game within 2 weeks! - Saturday, Jan 21 2012 from 5:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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Tags: Battle
And their king it is who tolls
We was unhorsed and enjoyin’ lunch when Fearghus quirks a brow and stands up lookin’ over my head at somethin’ when there came a gods-awful and decidedly piggish skreelin’ what threatened t’stop yer blood in yer veins… it occurs t’me that there are times I wish I’d paid closer attention t’the drawin’ classes they tried t’make me take back at Academé so’s I could draw some of the things I’ve seen as t’would be a far cry easier than findin’ adequate words t’describe ‘em, and yes, I do realize that findin’ words is my job if that tells you anythin’ about the critter’s odd appearance.

First off, it had a boar’s head – with the addition of nubbin’ li’l horns close by its ears – which was wedged atop the shoulders, arms and torso of a heavily-muscled humanoid but which at the waist switched back t’pig again as its knees was backward and it stomped the snow with trotters like yer auntie has in the pickle barrel – and aye, it had a corkscrew tail just the same as a proper farm pig complete with a wee tuft on the end but I’d nae make jests at it as the thing was twice as tall as cousin Fearghus here and near three times as wide. Though I’m nae an expert by any means, I can fair guess a critter’s weight by lookin’ at it and I’ll swear on my harp that the beastie could nae have been under five and sixty stone if it were an ounce; mind you that’s an Aral stone nae a Salp one – it’d be near a hundred and thirteen stone by Salp reckonin’ as everythin’s smaller in Salpia. Now accordin’ t’the considerable research materials available at the Academé what this thin’ was could probably most accurately be called a choíranthrope, which is a uppity way of sayin’ “pig-man”, though I’m fair partial t’the slightly more colorful description Arcelli uses, that bein’ “piggune”, as it’s easier t’pronounce and gets the point across right smart-like with nae soundin’ like a pretentious old farthammer or worse.

Now if ye think I’m mistaken or exaggeratin’ the size of the critter ye’d be dreadful wrong as it were easy t’compare Fearghus and the piggune size-wise as dear cousin had taken up the implements of his trade and situated hisself betwixt the cussed thing and the group of us which turned out t’be a right fortunate thing as the piggune was dead-set on committin’ bloody mayhem and ruin upon the lot of us. This aim was clear when it let out another screel as it lower its shoulders and charged at cousin Turnbull at a flat run, trotters kickin’ up clumps of snow and gravel as it came. Fearghus dug his heel in and set his shoulder behind his shield whilst makin’ certain that zoggin’ great mace was limbered up and free t’return the favor the piggune was about t’do.

I cannae say which was more surprised at the sudden cessation of the piggune’s forward motion – the critter or the Dran fellers starin’ at Fearghus as if he was straight daft for standin’ there makin’ rude kissy noises at the beastie over the edge of his shield as t’add insult t’injury – but one and all stopped still in their tracks as the muffled monotone of skull impactin’ shield rang out and echoed offa the mountainside some several leagues away like a funeral bell. Fearghus actually proved t’be the more pig-headed of the two as he stood his ground firm, barely skiddin’ back a hand’s breadth despite the best efforts of the piggune t’bowl him over. Raylen and I both saw that stubbornness had a price though as cousin gritted his teeth and seemed t’favor his shoulder a bit where the edge of his shield had caught under his pauldron on impact. Quick as y’like though, Turnbull favored the beastie with a rib-snappin’ whollop that drove the air out of its chest with a surprised and wheezy squeal whilst the rest of us scrambled forward t’give Fearghus some assistance in whatever way we could.

The Dran, despite bein’ battle-berserk a the drop of a hat, could really have taken a page from Fearghus’ book in how t’nae end up arse over tea kettle when the piggune connected with that great falchion he gripped in one mitt or the back of his other hand when he decided one of ‘em was too close for comfort… and by too close I mean within four paces as the thin’ had damnable long arms and could reach over even dear cousin’s head t’hit the fellers in the second rank, so’s t’speak, which turned out t’be nae such a good thing for Raylen, but I’m gettin’ ahead of me. Talasco, the amazin’ flyin’ Dran, proved that it was nae just Gratt who could send him sprawlin’ and one of the others, Smurfen or Hoyt I nae remember as I was a might busy at the time, proved they was part bird as well which might go t’explainin’ all the feathers in their hair come t’think on it.

Some time back I’d found a whip similar t’the one I’d taken up on a dare at the Academé and one of the things I did most often with it was deprive my opponent of his weapon. Why I attempted it against a giant pig-man I have no defense for except that the thin air and the snow was startin’ t’affect my rational mind. I mentioned that the critter had double reach when compared t’a man and it was this is what nearly deprived us of our dear priest. Raylen, seein’ that Fearghus was headed toward a bad way after takin’ not only the full brunt of the beastie’s charge but also a few clobbers as well, ran up t’lend some healin’ which he’s done often enough before that it was nae out of the ordinary. In rippin’ its weapon free from my whip the critter turned blade t’the flat as it slapped Raylen right on the top of the helm over Fearghus’ head which dropped our friend like a sack of onions on the spot which was more than fair worrisome.

Under a rain of fearsome blows from Fearghus and Talasco with arrows zippin’ in from Arcelli when he had a shot and the rest of the Dran when they was on their feet, the piggune righted its grip and brought a backward thrust that caught the Dran young blood, Muno-Taniwed – who’d nae stayed with the horses as he’d been instructed, square in the chest, drivin’ two feet of steel out of his back. If the Dran was a frothin’ mess of blood-crazed berserkers before that moment ye’d have nae realized it if ye’d compared it how they laid int’ the beastie after though it was the repeated, judicious application of warmace that had the greatest impact, if ye’ll pardon the pun.

Whilst Arcelli and Fearghus made for a certainty that the critter was on the dark side of the veil Raul made a show of checkin’ Muno-Taniwed though anyone could see he was as dead as General Zaska’s last horse. I’d hied it over t’Raylen as quick as possible whilst the Dran was occupied with wailin’ and howlin’ at the sky over their fallen comrade t’make certain we’d nae reason t’join the ruckus, if’n ye take my meanin’. We pyred up the piggune and moved a reasonable distance off t’make camp as we’d preparations t’make for the young blood and a night’s sleep would nae do any of us harm.
Session: What?! another game within 2 weeks! - Saturday, Jan 21 2012 from 5:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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Epic × 2!
Walk on the Wild Side
After my chat with Namen we come t’the conclusion that it was too late t’do anythin’ that night so’s we’d start early the next mornin’ which is precisely what we did. Here’s a helpful bit of advice; be mindful of askin’ favors of mages as what you ask and what they provide might nae be what ye had in mind at all regardless of how well it works and that’s all I’ve t’say on that matter. Disguise in place I went out and made my inquiries as t’a guide t’get us ont’the plateau with nae so much risk as just wanderin’ up there all blind and backward as none of us had much in the way of knowledge of what we might be blunderin’ int’ – there’s no shame in admittin’ ye know just enough t’know ye nae know enough. On ‘bout mid-mornin’ I bumped int’Raylen and Fearghus as they was out and about checkin’ on cousin’s armor and we had a bit of a chat but as the feller I was meetin’ wasn’t expectin’ but the one of me I took my leave with promises t’look the fellers up later when I was done.

The bloke with whom I’d arranged my meet, courtesy of our contrite innkeep, was a druid by the name of Raul who’d hiked in t’Sperso t’lay t’rest a li’l Salp feller who’d lived with the Dran t’study their customs, as Salp scholarly types are wont t’do it seems, but had asked t’be laid in his final rest on home soil and that his writin’ on Dran culture make it back t’Salp such that the knowledge might be passed along. He’d evidentially earned enough of the Dran’s respect in his years with ‘em that they’d pressed Raul int’service t’facilitate these last wishes and the druid was castin’ about fer someone t’take the books deeper int’Salpia as Sperso is nae one of the greater learnin’ centers or repositories of knowledge in the known lands which would only come as a surprise t’ye if ye nae knew water was wet. I agreed that in exchange fer actin’ as guide t’the four of us I’d take said tome t’the Academé library – which I could nae do if’n I and my comrades ended up on the wrong side of a dirt blanket. Raul seemed none too keen on traipsin’ about with us lot in tow but when I put it t’him that in lieu of my haulin’ the book I could give him a recommendation t’get him past the Academé gate and he could take it int’the heart of civilization himself he warmed t’the notion of actin’ as guide. I set a meet and greet fer the followin’ afternoon as none of us is early risers given our druthers and larked off t’find the fellers and get a drink after takin’ care of one last wee bit of business – I was none too comfortable swingin’ in the wind by my lonesome even with a fair convincin’ disguise.

True t’their word the fellers were knockin’ the dust down with whate’er spirits was at hand at the inn and had Arcelli and Namen besides so’s we were able t’make a fivesome out of our evening’s fishin’ expedition – see, whilst I was jawin’ with Raul they’d remembered them about the jake that’d set the orcs on us and decided t’fish him out after some other manner of unpleasantry had occurred betwixt them and the locals. How the two incidents was connected I was nae clear on at the time but as Da says “The geese’ll tell it in autumn” so I nae worried overmuch about it.

As bein’ kenspeckled is second nature t’Arals in general and arcanists double-so so’s bein’ seen was nae any worry as we trooped out and plunkered us down in one of the less seemly taverns closer t’the river. Soon enough the fellers found who they thought they might be lookin’ fer and after some surreptitious and gods-aided reconnoiterin’ we wandered out actin’ much drunker than we were t’meet the mischief the ne’er-do-wells had planned fer us in the form of an ambush what turned out much the worse for them than they’d had any right t’suspect it would. Namen, bein’ a likeable enough bloke when he takes a mind t’be and twice over persuasive when he’s wagglin’ his fingers, convinced the sole survivor – and by survivin’ I mean nae bein’ present at the melee – t’spill whate’er was churnin’ his guts.

Seems that by our simple presence we’d managed t’inadvertantly thwart some fashion of criminal kingpin of Sperso’s grand schemes; first by slaughterin’ his orcs, second by Fearghus near killin’ the jake what gropped me, third by Namen makin’ off with a good measure of gold in a brawl I’d missed whilst I was in my hermitage, and last by havin’ some sort of new ‘entertainment’ that was gonna steal business away from this kingpin’s brothel – by which he meant me of all thin’s – and so’s his boss was gonna do away with my fellers and add me t’his stable… which is s’far past deluded that it put my hackles up past just bein’ insulted. There was also mention that one of the Regulars was in league with the whoremonger so’s we had that t’think about. Fearghus gave the turncoat a good excuse t’nae get shivved by his more regular employer by breakin’ his hand after Namen set a meet-up fer the midday next.

Full-on half of the riff-raff of Sperso turned out the next day in the thoroughfare t’assist Alvardo, as that was the whoremonger’s name if I nae mentioned it before, in slittin’ the uppity newcomers’ throats. It was passin’ odd that in a pit the size of Sperso this jake had managed such a large followin’ on short notice but I’ve learned t’nae try t’put logic ont’any Salp interactions unless I want a splittin’ headache. Soon enough I saw how he’d managed it though when he flung a spell out there what was literally a textbook example of how t’recognize a spawn of Raine. No shite, there we was toe t’toe with a spawn and if ye nae think that put the kite with the hens so far as a licensed arcanist is concerned yer sadly mistaken! I nae know who spied it first, me or Namen because we both let out a holler, but one thin’ was certain – that bastard had to die as directed by Magesterium Order One, which of course he did in short order with a knife betwixt his shoulder blades wielded by the turncoat after a bit of a suggestion from Namen I later learned. The rest of the rabble fell like chaff t’the fellers, hell, I even got in a lick or two with that whip I found in the temple and as we’re watchin’ the dust settle we spy that the captain of the Regulars is there with what remained of his men watchin’ us apparently murderin’ townsfolk.

Namen was in high color and mad as a wet cat t’which end he tells this Captain Bullardo that they need t’have a “come t’temple” meetin’ post haste regardin’ Magesterium Order One. The Captain groused his men int’supposedly keepin’ us from leavin’ and I took it int’my head t’figure out which of the Regulars standin’ there was the snake in the woodpile so’s I start explainin’ Magesterium Order One and what all that entailed fer anyone who-so-e’er had dealin’ with a sorcererous Spawn and watched as one particular jake went green at the gills betwixt my explainin’ and Fearghus walkin’ from carcass t’carcass cavin’ in their skulls t’make certain they was on the other side of the veil per Magesterium Order One, of course. I had that jake right where I wanted him and kept him there until Namen and the Captain returned and his comrades seized him t’take him t’his just reward at the end of the hangman’s rope. Nae a bad mornin’s work really.

Of course timin’ bein’ what it is for a troubadour that last was witnessed by Raul who came up and made his introductions t’the fellers and suggested we tie up our business post-haste so’s we could leave at first light t’catch the Dran what had already headed back up the pass which I’m fair certain was just a druid’s way of ruinin’ a good celebration. Unfortunately Namen concurred so’s the fellers went t’gather Fearghus’ armor and whate’er supplies we might need whilst I went t’the barracks t’give my witness account t’the Captain since I was fair certain I’d never set a toe in Sperso again if it meant I had t’climb the Altaran Fence twice on my hands.
Session: Barring plague... - Friday, Jan 06 2012 from 8:00 PM to 4:00 AM
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Tags: Battle , Spawn?!
Epic!
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 7:45 PM to 5:45 AM
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Tags: Battle
If it weren't for bad luck...
The ability fer Aral luck to overcome that misery that is the general lot of Salps was still underpowered despite the dwindlin’ numbers of our temporary Regular comrades-in-arms as we’d barely thought about stoppin’ t’grab a bit of somethin’ t’eat when someone spots a rustlin’ in some scrub ahead just before a blighted owlbear – yes, I said owlbear and it looks just like what its name implies that bein’ the unholy union of an owl and a bear – pops up out of said scrub. Fur and feathers fluffed out in a display of pure orneriness, as the only attitudinal settin’ these critters have is half-past thrice chaffed, it let out a roarin’ hoot what’s even more frightsome than its appearance and that words nae have the power t’describe adequately.

As we were a’horse and had been ridin’ along I’d my bow, or rather the bow we’d found on the ogres what was of considerable better make than mine so’s I was usin’ it until I got my own, but as I was sayin’ a bow in my hands instead of my harp and havin’ heard from Da exactly how vicious, ferocious, cantankerous and just plain maliciously aggressive these critters were I wasted no time in lettin’ fly an arrow toward the brute. Fortunate fer me they’re nigh on as big as a barn so’s I was actually able t’hit the cussed thin’ as did Raylen, quite a bit more vitally placed I might add, as Fearghus kinda quirked a brow at what was goin’ on and Arcelli slided off of his horse t’get some room t’limber up that big-arse bow of his. What with the Regulars bein’ behind us a bit they’d no notion of what exactly they was walkin’ int’the teeth of… or beak of rather as owlbears nae have teeth but I’m digressin’ me with details.

Raylen an’ I hit again, thank the gods fer small favors when asked politely, and Fearghus must’ve followed the projectiles t’their logical conclusion in the varmint’s carcass which prompted him t’hop off ol’ Favo and sidle critterward as Arcelli gave him cover fire what dinnae hit but kept the critter lookin’ at the ranger instead of the merc. I was a might busy t’turn around and see what the Regulars was contemplatin’ as I was concentratin’ too hard on nae hittin’ Fearghus on my next shot as that big monstrosity charged itself up t’Arcelli and the Aral and took as swipe but I managed nae only t’miss my fellers but also t’hit about the same time Raylen did. Fearghus put up a nice display of defense so’s Arcelli could get some distance t’bring his shots t’bear which left him the only one toe t’toe with the beastie which could’ve been right bad right quick but out of the corner of my eye I caught the movement of the Regulars as the hauled it up t’the fight double quick.

The thin’ musta been lookin’ over Fearghus’ shoulder at the Regulars ‘cause it dinnae even try t’dodge the great swipe our Araldite friend landed direct in its ribs knockin’ a wheezy roar-squawk and a surprised look out of it which was followed in rapid succession by my arrow, another from Arcelli and two bolts from the Regulars as Raylen slung his bow over his saddle horn and prepared t’make those what got cuffed around stay on the right side of the burial mound as the Regulars’ swordsmen had arrived and give a good poke t’the varmint too. With all the bodies surroundin’ the critter I was nae surprised when I missed… I was surprised that every other archer on the field did but it turned out t’be no matter as one of the Regulars landed a good slice and Ermanno did that run up and swipe from crotch t’craw that he’d pulled on the ogre which elicited the self-same result; dead critter.

I was fair surprised, but had the tact nae t’say anythin’ out loud about it mind ye, that we had just as many Regulars at the end of the fight as we did at the beginnin’ and everyone had all of their limbs intact. Says I that as Namen was needin’ giant owl feathers maybe he’d like some big-arsed owlbear feathers too so’s I plucked some of the choice tail feathers fer that purpose before Arcelli had ‘em all yanked and stuck in his hair – I’ll leave my comments on Salpian versus Araldite levels of social sophistication fer another discussion as I have mentioned the subject before and nae want t’beat it int’the ground – and as these critters eschew clothes there was no pockets t’check so’s I hops back up on Canuto and wait patiently fer Fearghus t’lop off the head of the beastie so’s the Regulars can get credit fer it with their major or admiral or what the blast ever it is they call who they answer t’when they’re nae answerin’ t’a captain.

The best part of travelin’ back to Ebete is that the closer we got the less likely we was t’see any maraudin’ beasties and that’s just what happened fer the rest of the three days we trekked it back which suited me right down t’the ground. On about my fourth ale in Ebete it dawned on me that the most dangerous part of my journey has yet t’take place; I’d forgotten t’send word back t’Sottovelo and Auntie Mo so’s it’d been three weeks she’d nae known if I was quick or dead. I knew I was in fer a right-epic skaldin’ when I got back which might just have been why I simply couldnae slake my thirst no matter how many rounds I drank.
Session: Game Three... or Whaddaya mean we need 300 more goblins? - Friday, Jul 22 2011 from 7:30 PM to 5:30 AM
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Tags: Battle , Booze
When Doves Cry...
In the preparin’ t’head back to Ebete there was some discussion as to whether or nae we should stay hooked up with the Regulars as I mentioned previous but as there’s safety in numbers it was general agreed to that it wouldn’t hurt so much as it would help so’s we fourteen set out and had a fair uneventful go of it ‘til the second night. ‘Bout the time Raylen sticks his head in the tent t’mention there’s somethin’ afoot a distant shout soundin’ somewhere betwixt chaffed and defensive booms out and there’s no doubt that indeed there’s somethin’ t’be paid attention to somewhither in the darkness. By the time I’d grabbed my harp and made it out of the tent I could just see the Regulars linin’ up in formation faced t’the east and watchin’ the whate’er it was which was stirrin’ up the racket and now that I was awake and outside I could hear plain that it were two critters of some sort as the voices was distinct. I struck up a tune and walked up behind the boys who were jockeyin’ themselves into the position what most suited ‘em and in the moonlight off of what snow was left I spied two of the biggest, ugliest critters I’d only seen in book illustrations t’that point and I was fair well certain that they was ogres… and they was havin’ words with one another.

I’m nae one t’speak critter but I dinnae need fluency t’figure out what was occurrin’ betwixt the pair – he’d obviously done her a disservice in her eyes and she was skaldin’ him fer it fierce, t’the point he’d had enough and was startin’ t’push back, but they was both so occupied with their cussin’ at each other that they’d no earthly inklin’ that they was fit t’walk straight across our camp. Arcelli and the Regulars, bein’ the fellers that that they are, loosed at the jake ogre and thwacked him solid hits all as Fearghus did the same t’the bint so’s possibly t’give us all some relief from her shrill and gratin’ voice and Raylen got t’where he could be of most service with the layin’ on of hands if anyone took a beatin’ which looked t’be exactly what was in the offin’ as the pair ceased their caterwaulin’ at each other and charged usward. Arcelli and the back rank of Regulars was still pluggin’ at the jake with arrow and bolt whilst Fearghus moved up t’meet him with the Regulars on the front line. Meseems that if there’s aught wrong with the Salpian Army it’s whosoever is makin’ their weapons or at least someone needs must make fer certain they’re nae forged or assembled in the waniand as two of the three spears shattered against the chests of those critters and dinnae even make ‘em blink as they straight crushed two of the Regulars holdin’ said useless instruments well past where Raylen could do ‘em any assistance.

Battle was joined thick and Fearghus appeared t’be either windin’ up fer a good swipe or combin’ the jake’s hair as Arcelli and the Regulars continued t’whittle away at the ogres from a distance and the Regulars in the second rank stepped up t’fill the gaps left by their downed comrades and one goes down near instant as the she of the two backhanded him but good. I’ll give this t’sergeant Ermanno – he took such umbrage at what befell his blokes that he stepped straight under the jake’s gropin’ arms and split him from groin t’gullet in one fell swoop what made Fearghus have t’jig a bit t’the side t’keep from bein’ tumbled under the corpse. This left every last soul able t’concentrate attacks on the bint what was goin’ directly insane in a flurry of swipes and cussin’ that left another of the swordsmen down. Raylen was able t’stand the bloke back up near healthy though as that was just the emergency he was hunkered down in the second rank for. Arcelli wasn’t havin’ near the luck with the bint as he did the jake as his arrows kept glancin’ off of what I am assumin’ was supposed t’be armor but rather looked like she’d folded a cow in half and strapped it t’her chest and Fearghus near dropped his mace slippin’ on the offal what spilled out of the jake as he jumped over it t’get t’her from my vantage point the recovery was it was fair impressive.

With his feet back under him where they was supposed t’be and her aimin’ a kick at his chest Fearghus connected with an upswing of that warmace that connected in a vital region, if ye take my meanin’, what brought the bint up on her toes and made her squeal like a stuck pig and forsooth made me a bit achy just witnessin’ it. The Regulars of the third rank collected their wits and all managed solid hits as the last spearman skewered her good in an attempt t’slow her down a bit so’s Fearghus could get another good swipe on her t’which she responded by drivin’ the Regular’s head int’his shoulders hard enough that even from a distance I knew he was wrapped in the last veil before he hit the ground and Raylen was busy with one of the second rank fellers besides. One of the swordsmen stuck her clean through then as she was over-extended from her swipe and down she went. Hears I a cuss from Fearghus what glowed the air near blue as he says there’s a bairn on her back and the Salps all kind of look at each other fer a heartbeat nae decidin’ what to do immediate. Says Fearghus rightly that li’l ones become big ones and he makes certain that cannae come t’pass and I notice that he’s favorin’ his ribs where the pair’d tried t’cave ‘em in. After lookin’ after him and checkin’ pockets the sun was fair risin’ so we broke camp and continued on.
Session: Game Three... or Whaddaya mean we need 300 more goblins? - Friday, Jul 22 2011 from 7:30 PM to 5:30 AM
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Tags: Battle
Heroes End
When I say in we went there were varyin’ degrees of in as I may have alluded to b’fore as Fearghus and the three Regulars what were too big t’fit in the openin’ stayed outside whilst I stood at the last bend of the tunnel and commenced to playin’ and singin’ where I could be heard by all inside and out t’keep morale up where it needed t’be fer the undertakin’ at hand. The dread drapery was pushed hard aside so’s I had a bit of a peek as to what was happenin’ in the cave but nae a circle-side so t’speak. What I could see was that Arcelli raced in and commenced t’killin’ anythin’ yeller what moved and the commandant disappeared right quick in the thick of thin’s further down the bowl of the cave but I could hear him shoutin’ encouragement and orders over even my own noise I was makin’. Raylen, was layin’ waste with that heavy crossbow of his – and as an aside here I would mention that nae even Fearghus can reload as fast as that little Salp priest can, it’s pretty impressive truth be told – and aidin’ what Regulars went down within his reach and I’ve got t’give the feller credit, he shagged in there with nary a stick of armor on and dinnae retreat a step.

The funny thin’ about battle is that time loses all logic, reason and meanin’ almost as soon as sword clears scabbard makin’ some moments seem t’take a week t’finish whilst the next may go by so quick that a blink or a heartbeat would be likened to a year in comparison so’s that even with me nae bein’ directly in the battle, and in addition keepin’ time with a song, what seemed like quite a while fer a fight t’be goin’ on – but by my place in the song couldn’t’ve been quite a minute – a general shout goes up in the cave which I couldn’t understand fer all of the clangin’ and groanin’ and my own noise but which I learned when Raylen stuck his head through the openin’ was that there was some gobbos what had made a run fer it out the back of the cave. I kept the song goin’ with the harp and backed up a few paces to the next bend t’shout out to Fearghus t’keep his eyes open and head up as there was runners headed out the back at which point I sees his boots disappear from the openin’ of the tunnel. ‘Twas good enough fer I so I went back t’my previous spot and a bit further on t’see what I could see.

The better part of the gobbos was down and unfortunately so was half of the Regulars but Raylen was ‘bout done tendin’ t’wounded and as there was no fightin’ t’inspire I slung the harp across my back and ran in t’see what healin’ help I could lend but in my scan of standin’ and sprawlin’ lads I didn’t see Arcelli or one of the sergeants so I made the quick surmise that they’d hied out after the runners. I’d my kit on my belt and patched one feller up when we heard a commotion outside which snapped the head up of every bloke still on his feet and they bolted out of the cave fast as fast can and I was set t’follow but an itch between my shoulders stopped me dead in my tracks at the entrance; somethin’ didn’t feel right about leavin’ helpless fellers amongst a score of gobbos what might nae be quite dead. It’s long been the traditional and bloody work of Aral women t’follow the battles of their menfolk and make sure the enemy is good and rightly sent t’whate’er afterlife awaits their wicked spirits so’s I drew down and throated every last one of the gobs whether it looked full dead or not. At least one was possumin’ as he wriggled and gasped, or rather tried to around the blade in his throat, when I finished him so’s I’m guessin’ that the itch was my forebears subtle way of remindin’ me of my duties fer which I am right thankful.

I stayed and did a quick scan of the Regulars again t’make certain that they was all on the right side of the darkest veil which was fortunate enough t’be the truth. Since they was all little blokes it weren’t nothin’ too difficult to move ‘em a bit t’make ‘em more comfortable though at one point I thought I was gonna be buried with ‘em alive as the roof of the cave shook down some dirt on our heads but naught came of it and I could spy no cracks in the stone worth sweatin’ over. I spied the openin’ in the far back of the cave and kept an eye on it and the one I’d come in with blade bare incase some skulkin’ yeller blighter tried t’sneak in and finish the Regulars off. Sooner than nae one of the Regulars what was still on his feet pokes in from the main openin’ and says that everythin’s taken care of up top and it’s startin’ t’rain and they need all hands t’get the horses and mules in the back tunnel, what was considerable larger than the front one, and shunt stuff around inside so’s we could stretch out the dead. I’m nae too proud t’say that I cussed like a river captain when I heard the last part of what he said ‘cause it was never my intention t’get any one killed but Regulars sign up fer the duty knowin’ that it’s a possibility so I didn’t waste much energy on guilt or second thoughts.

I commenced t’tossin’ and pilin’ gobbo bodies on one side of the cave by the main openin’ so’s after we’d cleaned their ears we could haul ‘em outside and so’s there’d be room enough fer livin’ and dead humans that were pilin’ in from the back. I was full sad t’see that one of the blokes carried in on his shield was Captain Trocero fer he was a good man and the army could use more like him leadin’ from the front and sharin’ his men’s lot that the typical type of officer they’ve got and that’s all I have t’say on that subject at the moment. There couldn’t’ve been more stink and activity in that hole if we’d have used a crowbar and I set t’the disgustin’ task of checkin’ gob pockets and gatherin’ Namen’s component so’s we could get the gobbo dead out of doors t’feed the critters sooner rather than later and by the time it was all accomplished we’d about an ounce of the nasty stuff in the jar which I sealed with candle wax so’s the stink of it couldn’t get out. Quick maths told me we’d need about three-hundred more gobbos at this rate but I dinnae spend much time thinkin’ on it as there was other thin’s t’be done as the stench inside that cave, fer gobbos is one of the dirtiest thin’s what goes on two legs, was gettin’ t’the point that it were about t’make me crosser than a wet hen just t’breathe the air full of smoke and unwashed bodies and shite and blood as it was.
Session: Game Two Bizatch! ...or Get in that Hole! - Friday, Jul 08 2011 from 7:30 PM to 1:30 AM
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Tags: Battle