Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Retreat




Marpenoth 19, 1367 DR - Year of the Shield

            A lizard man to Haeming’s right looked at the javelin, then at the skald. It turned to flee. Haeming leapt to cut off the creatures escape, meeting it face to face, "do not turn your back on me creature!"

            The lizard man swung its club at the skald. Haeming lunged forward under its arm, piercing scaled flesh and hard muscle. The lizard man crumpled into a ball of pain and slow death as Haeming ran to find another foe.

            It didn’t take the skald long. The larger of the lizard men gladly engaged Haeming, trading blow for blow. Hitting Haeming’s shield and dodging the skald’s numerous attacks. Haeming held up his shield, meeting the lizard man’s club, and sliding his own blade underneath, scoring the lizard man in the stomach. The creature howled its pain and frustration. Haeming closed in, pushing his shield forward again.

With stabs, thrusts, and parries Haeming could feel his sword arm growing weaker. Haeming’s resolve waivered slightly, unsure if he would be able to make it past the lizard man’s defenses once more. Until he saw it. That golden spot. The place where he could slide his blade in, and slide it in deep. Haeming lunged forward and pierced its heart.         

Javelins continued to fly from atop the massive rock. Justian screamed as one scraped along his side, its sharp point cutting a gash through his chainmail, his stained tabard, and his skin.

            Justian’s closest foe took the opportunity to strike, swinging its club at the young warrior’s head. Justian saw the move through his haze of pain and blood, stepping away in time for the blow to land squarely on his shield. His body rattled and he felt his knees almost give out.

            Another javelin fell from the sky. Justian could hear the sound it made as it cut through the air. The young warrior braced himself for the worse. The javelin pierced flesh. The flesh of his enemy as the javelin missed the young warrior, goring the lizard man. The lizard yelled something in its native tongue at its compatriot on the rock.

            Coryn glanced over as he saw Justian taking the worse of the attack from the rock, “Hold on kid.” Justian mumbled as he engaged another lizard man, this one refusing to die as quickly as the first.

            Dorian let free two more arrows at the lizard man atop the rock, desperately hoping to end the attacks from above. One flew too high going over the creature s head, the other embedded itself in the massive rock the lizard man was perched upon.

            Haeming bent down, ignoring the screaming pain in his arms and cracked ribs. Using the hide of the lizard man he had just killed to clean his blade.  The skald looked up. Something was different. The tone of the battle had changed.  Two lizard men ran into the deep waters of the swamp, followed closely by three more. All the fellows but Dorian follow the creatures to the edge of the dry clearing.

Remenissions swung his hammer down on the lizard man nearest him as it tried to run off. Smashing its tail as it too squirmed off in to the fetid water of the swamp. The fellows ran to the edge of the clearing, but they were too late. The lizard men were lost to the depths of the swamp. 



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sliding in the Mud



Marpenoth 19, 1367 DR - Year of the Shield

            Coryn once again began to pray. Remenissions, Haeming and Justian ran forward.

            Remenissions was the first to reach the enemy. With heavy breathes he swung his hammer. The lizard man was not caught completely unaware. As it turned to face the paladin it jumped to the side, dodging every blow.
           
            “Torm’s teeth!” The paladin cursed.
           
            Justian followed closely behind the paladin, swinging his blade as his feet slipped and slid into a second lizard man, the mud of the clearing providing little to no traction. The young warrior’s blade stayed true and gutted the lizard man as the Justian collided with it.  The lizard man’s organs spilled onto Justian’s head.

            Haeming was more cautious. He circled around the massive boulder in the center of the clearing in an attempt to outflank his enemy, all the while an ancient song on his lips.
           
            Dorian looked to Coryn as a bright white light caught the corner of his eye. The cleric was beginning to glow as his prayer reached a conclusion. The light burst forth from the cleric and leapt high in to the air. The fellows at once felt the faint presence of strength and nobility; a blessing from the god Torm.
           
            Dorian let two more arrows fly in quick succession only to curse as the lizard atop the stone bent down. He could see it look up at the arrows as the passed over it. The lizard man snarled and stood back up, javelin in hand.

            The lizard man began to line up its throw, Dorian cursed once more. From its stance the ranger could tell this Lizard Man knew what it was doing.

            Haeming crept behind a lizard man who had been scrambling to gather its gear. The skald was still chanting. The lizard man was far too concerned with the two foes in front to hear the one creeping up from behind. A single blow and the lizard man’s head fell to the ground. Its blood mixed with wet mud. Haeming stared at it the fresh corpse for a moment before moving on to his next foe, his chant still on his lips, “suokaa heille vihastanne, hukuttakaa hurmeen virtaan."


            Dorian continued his assault on the lizard man on the rock. Arrow after arrow missed.  The lizard mile made a toothy sneer at the ranger and continued to line up his throw. Dorian glared. The lizard man was mocking him, and they both knew it.  Dorian fired off one more arrow and was rewarded with a snarl and a glare, the arrow now cleanly and clearly embedded in the lizard man’s leg.

            Coryn’s blessing complete, the cleric jumped to his feet and ran to help the fellows. He passed Justian and Remenissions and engaged one of the unoccupied lizard men. His mace in hand he struck and swung hard. The mace cracked the lizard man’s skull, the creatures reptilian eyes rolled into the back of its head. It fell over, it’s chest still.

            Dorian spat as he realized his arrow wouldn’t be enough to stop the lizard man on the tower of stone. The ranger lined up another shot, as the lizard through its javelin. With a wet thud the javelin landed to the right of Haeming. Haeming looked back briefly before engaging another lizard man.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Swamp Was Winning



Marpenoth 19, 1367 DR - Year of the Shield

            The swamp was winning. They all felt it. Every minute they stayed they were soaked by water and their feet weighed down by the rotting detritus of the swamp floor. Dorian continued to urge the fellows to turn back, while Remenissions urged the group forward. Dorian was slowly gaining headway when the path broke onto a large clearing dominated by a single large tree and a boulder over twenty feet high.

            Beneath the tree a group of lizard men gathered around a small heap of items. The items were gathered on a torn and now thoroughly soaked tapestry.

            Dorian held out an arm. The fellows stopped. 

            Each lizard men would pick up and item and look at it closely, and put it back down. Confusion over the purpose of each object was prominent.

            Dorian looked for some sort of cover. Near the lizard men was another pile, this one a pile of swords, shields, and various pieces of armor.

            Dorian made step toward the rock, but cursed and stopped as he saw a sixth lizard man. Armed with javelins, this lizard man may have been a look out. Though now he was too absorbed with the loot his fellows were going over.

            The sixth lizard men would bark something down, though his companions promptly ignored him.

            “Torm see us through this fight that our courage stays true,” Coryn prayed as silently as he could.

            Dorian checked his blades and pulled the bow off his back.

            "We need someone who can move with silence to see if there are any more hidden in places we can't see from here." Justian whispered through clenched teeth.

            Remenissions hefted his warhammer, ensuring his grip on the oversized weapon.

            Haeming raised his shield higher, his blade readied ready for a charge.

            Dorian could feel Justian's eyes on his back. He crept back slightly "I don't know enough about the terrain. If I try and sneak up on them I might as well as wave at the lizard men and introduce myself."  

            "Okay then," Justian shrugged, "the only thing for it is a frontal attack."

            "I can fire off an opening volley," Dorian offered.

            "Dorian," Remenissions said, placing a hand on the ranger's shoulder, "you have an arrow with the one on the rock's name on it?"

            "That I do. Hopefully I can drop one of them before they realize we are here and close in."

            "That is good." Justian nodded,  "hit them with a volley, the one on the rock first."

            Coryn drew his shield and mace, "Torm is on our side boys, let us avenge the glorious dead."

            Haeming ducked down, giving Dorian more room to fire.

            Justian drew his sword as Coryn mumbled a prayer for a small blessing.

            Haeming began very soft chant. The words were foreign but the fellows felt emboldened by them.

            Dorian let his arrow loose. The ranger felt as though time were stopped. He could see the arrow gain height, and arch high. Too high. With a loud thunk the arrow landed next to its target.

            Dorian recovered and fired another arrow at the watcher atop the rock. Missing again Dorian cursed as the fellows stared at him, their mouths wide.

            "What are you waiting for?" Dorian hissed at the fellows. He could see the watcher turning to investigate the sound of the arrow, "charge!"


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Centipede



Marpenoth 19, 1367 DR - Year of the Shield

                        “Very well,” Coryn said, “let us see this deed done.” The cleric checked his mace. Its weight firmly pressed against his thigh. It would not fall should he run, but would go freely to his hand should he need it to.

            “You are on the right path,” Redeye said, standing up Redeye backed into the deep water of the swamp, his band vanishing behind him.

            Haeming watched the lizard men as they departed. His eyes lingered on the rain pelted surface of the water long after Redeye slipped beneath the surface.

            “Might as well do what we can,” Dorian said. “By now our tracks, and theirs, have probably washed away.” Dorian marked a tree nearby. He pushed moss aside and carved an eye into the trunk.

            “Ranger,” Justian said as he placed a hand on Dorian’s shoulder, “I trust you can find the reverse compass direction from which brought us here.”

            Dorian shrugged away the hand, “I should be able to.”
            “Then let us find this camp.” Justian said as he watched Remenissions once again walked forward further in to the swamp, never looking behind him to see if he was followed.
           
            Dorian grunted.

            The rain turned to a mist, thought this mattered little to the water logged and muck covered party. Lightning still forked the sky above, and thunder deafened the ears.

            Dorian gave a small prayer to Lathander. Maybe the thunder will hide their approach.  Dorian scratched at his neck. The dampness had already soaked through his heavy cloak and wicked up his clothing. His leather armor trapped his damp clothing against his skin. He felt an itch again. He felt wetness as his itch started to burn. Dorian pulled off one of his gloves to get at the itch on the back of his shoulder. He reached back and felt the hard carapace of an insect. A large insect.

            “Nine Hells!” the ranger cursed, “get this thing off me!” Dorian yelled and shouted, turning his back toward the fellows.

            Coryn ran up to the ranger, slapping a large centipede off of the ranger’s back with his gloved hand.  With a single fluid motion Remenissions smashed it on the ground with his hammer. The legs that survived the hammer blow twitched once and curled.

            “I STLARNING HATE CENTIPEDES!” Dorian roared.

            “Dorian, come here.” Coryn reached into his belt pouch and pulled out a small poultice.
           
            Dorian nodded as he scratched at the wound. A stream of blood and a yellow fluid streamed off his shoulder.

            Coryn dabbed at the wound, getting as far under the ranger’s armor he could reach. Coryn looked closely at the wound and whistled. Shaking his head, “Aye ye should be fine laddie. Torm was with ye on that one.”

            “Just a scratch?” Dorian said. “Good. I’m liking this place less and less. Let’s hurry up and get this over with.”

            “This swamp holds many hidden dangers,” Justian said as he poked at the dead centipede with his sword. “We better be on our guard.”

             "Just think how many different spiders live here,” Haeming said, grinning for the first time that any of them could recall.