Wednesday, August 20, 2014

More Lizard Men

Marpenoth 19, 1367 DR - Year of the Shield

            "Perhaps this will cool those hot-heads." Coryn muttered.

            "We should have left you here to die, Remenissions," Dorian stated. "we need to leave. Now. Our tracks may last a little while longer. The trees should give them some cover."

            "Or perhaps not," Coryn shook his head.

             "And yet, you did not." Remenissions replied. The rain cleaned off portions of his armor, making it a patch work of tarnished metal, leather and filth.

            "I came with the party. To save your hide." Dorian said, fists clenched.

            "Again, your own decision," Remenissions replied.

            "Fellows let us be about our business," Coryn interrupted.

            "Now enough," Dorian agreed with the cleric. "We need to decide what we're going to do, and do it.

            "Well," Justian spoke first, "I am going to find the camp and relay its location to the Commander."
            "At least scout the camp, if not willing to attack." Haeming said.

            Dorian frowned and shook his head, "the best option is still just to leave before our tracks wash away. We have no idea how far the camp is."

            "And neither would the militia, if we didn't find out," Haeming countered.

            "Let us hurry to the enemy camp. Time runs short." Justian said. The young warrior had to squint to see his companions clearly through the sheets of cold rain.

            "Depending on the camp's numbers," Remenissions said, "we need to attack while it is raining."

            Haeming nodded his agreement as he pulled his cloak tightly around himself, "we'd have the surprise with rain covering our smell and sound."

            "So we do need to hurry before the rain ends." Remenissions said, strapping his oversized shield onto his back once more. "If there are in the numbers of dozens and no obvious choke points nearby then we will return to the estate."

            "We shouldn't attack," Justian protested," just locate it. We can come back with the Militia once we only find it."

            "Very well let us be about it. We have agreed to at least find the camp." Coryn said, pinching the bridge of his nose.

            Remenissions walked  the same direction as before, taking care to avoid the pool that had nearly claimed his life. Justian and Haeming followed.

            Dorian watched the two follow Remenissions muttering about arrogant fools under his breath before heading after them.

            "Oh how you test me," Coryn silently prayed as he followed close behind the ranger. He need not worry about the limited sight caused by the rain. He could follow Dorian's cursing if need be.

            The rain refused to let up as once again Dorian took point. The path they were on curved, and straightened. The fellows walked so close they would step on each others' heels.   Keeping track of time had been difficult before, with the rain it became impossible.

            Dorian knew it had been a while, his eyes hurt from squinting, and his knees hurt from kneeling. Eventually a large hillock rose to their left, to their right marshy land dropped off to murky water as far as they could see. The water was near black, like the shallow water they had seen before. Though Dorian suspected it was much deeper.

            Dorian held up his hand.

            "What? What is it?" Coryn asked, his hand to his mace. The other fellows quickly followed suit.

            "Something moved." Dorian said.

            "How can you tell?" Justian pulled out his blade.

            "There!" Dorian pointed to the brush uphill of fellows.

            A band of  lizard men stared back at them. Their scales were bright green, and they had red-brown fur draped over them, hanging from leather baldrics. They dwarfed the companions, the large clubs and makeshift spears they carried only made the fellows more cautious.

                        "Ranger, can these lizard men swim?" Remenissions hissed through clenched teeth.
                        "Most can, yes," The ranger replied. He held his bow ready, though he had not grabbed an arrow from his quiver. He could not tell if his palms were sweating or his own gloves had soaked through from the rain. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Darkening Skies

Marpenoth 19, 1367 DR - Year of the Shield

            The flying lizard had fallen quickly enough. Quick thinking and adrenaline-powered swings felled the beast, and once again the fellows found themselves wondering what to do about Remenissions.

            “Damn fool's going to get us all killed.” Dorian grunted. “It was his choice. We voted.”
            “I agree,” Coryn said, “but we can't leave him alone out here.”
            “It was his choice. We voted.”
            “I did not see him go,” Justian interrupted the two, “so it would be you, ranger, who seemed to vote for me earlier. I was under the, apparently, mistaken impression that only a you would be able to track the beasts any further. If our good man Remenissions can do it, then that is good enough for me.

            “The tracks may be obvious enough that anyone may be able to follow them.” Dorian replied as he kicked the remains of the flying lizard into the murky and fetid water beside their path. “As for his abilities, I can't say. There's a good chance he's just going to get lost and eaten.”

            “He's too good a man to risk to the swamp,” Justian said.

            Dorian rolled his eyes. “Anyway, if we must, let's go find him. Wandering around out here alone is asking to get attacked.”

            “I thought,” Haeming said, “you were a ranger, usually rangers move unnoticed.” His voice was a cold chill on the fellows backs.

            “When you're out killing giant lizards and making a bunch of noise, the stealth sort of stops working,” Dorian said, “and swamps aren't exactly my forte. It's forests where I'm at my best.”

            "I'd assume,” Haeming replied, “we are the ones making the noise, anyone following it would come to us"

            "Regardless," Dorian said, "the priest said I need to stick with you all for some ill-defined reason. I'll trust Lathander's judgment."

            The fellows bickered as they trekked through the Lizard Marsh, Dorian on point though he wasn't sure why. Stealth had become irrelevant and tracking the paladin was easy. He had cut a wide swath in his attempt to find the lizard men, creating a path that a blind dwarf could follow, according to Dorian at least. When they finally reached the paladin he was coated in sand and slime up to his chest and  tip toeing around a pool of quicksand, tapping a foot gingerly in an attempt to find the edges of the pool.
             "Had a fun time of running around the swamp alone, I see."  Dorian could not help but laugh at the paladin's expense. The paladin had wandered off alone, risked himself, and the rest of the fellows. Bruising the arrogant man's ego might stop him from making the same mistake again.

            Even Haeming laughed at the paladin, "took a cooling dip in the swamp with the slime."

            Remenissions glared at the two of them.
            “We have found you, Remenissions,” Justian said, “why did you not tell me you were going off for the camp? I would have followed you.”

             "To each their own instincts," the paladin replied.

            "Well I wanted to go for the camp, surely you saw that?" Justian picked up Remenissions sword and shield, wiping off as much muck as he could before handing them back to Remenissions. "Had I known you could follow tracks, I would have gladly fought at your side."

            "I can appreciate your bravery, but going off alone?" Coryn shook his head.

            "One of the most important rules of exploring in the wilderness is not to wander off from your party. You endanger yourself and possibly your party if they decide to come rescue you." Dorian's would not let this fool get them all killed. Not if he had any say in the matter.

            "Rescuing is obviously not necessary. I can take care of myself." Remenissions grabbed his blade and shield from Justian.
            "So you were just taking a light swim then?" Dorian crossed his arms, raising one of his eyebrows.

            "I stepped into some quicksand and got myself out of it," Remenissions snarled.
            "You may not have been so lucky. The lizard men, or worse, may have found you while you were fishing yourself out."

            "When your time comes, it comes," Remenissions retorted. "Take the actions that you live by to ensure your death was for good cause."

            "Here, here, Remenissions!" Justian said, one arm thrust in the air.

            "I have things to do before my time comes." Dorian snapped, "I'll not rush recklessly into the unknown on some fool's account. Let's move."

            "Well then, have we had enough or do we continue on?" Coryn asked. He could see the venomous glare from the paladin, and the furrowed brow matched with a sneer from the ranger. The cleric placed a hand on Dorian's shoulder, "we can argue later, let us finish and be on our way."
            Haeming once more looked to the sky, "I would also remind you of the closing rain."

            "Let's get moving then," Coryn said, "this place is far too exposed."

            "Oh, I had forgotten the rain. We must beat it to the camp." Justian wiped his now filthy hands on his stained and filthy Tabard. "Remenissions, come, lead us to the tracks you were following."

            Remenissions turned his head from the ranger, instead fixing his glare on Justian, "and who said I was following the tracks? I saw enough on that battlefield to know which way they went. Keep yourself in a straight direction, you'll likely wind up where a wounded fighter's destination is. A dull-brained lizard man is not one for taking detours to throw people off when they're wounded."

            "Well, well," Justian Replied, "your wisdom puts me to shame. Glad to have you here."

            Haeming sighed and shook his head as the sky let loose, drenching the fellows in seconds. 

Quicksand Part 2

Marpenoth 19, 1367 DR - Year of the Shield

            Remenissions dragged himself, hand over hand and inch by inch, to solid land. He could feel sweat pool in his leather gloves as well as sand and water filling his boots and soaking his clothing through every gap in his armor. 

            He reached out to the nearest root and used it to pull himself out of his sandy trap.

            "Tluin quicksand," he cursed, "tryin' to kill me before I even find the damn green bastards." The paladin stood up and turned to the overgrown reeds and moss covered trees that surrounded him, “YOU'RE NOT GETTING ME THAT EASY SWAMP!”

Friday, August 15, 2014

Quick Sand

Marpenoth 19, 1367 DR - Year of the Shield

            Remenissions shook his head at the fellows’ poor decision. If they won't do what is right, then he will. He would not let some misguided votes dictate his actions. If the group would not follow his moral example, then he would not follow the group.

            He let his faith and his own conscience guide him when he left his order.  He would do the same now. Remenissions ignored their chatter and studied both the bodies that littered the swamp around him and the sky above. Slowly he lost himself in thoughts of bringing justice to those who have wronged him. To those who have wronged anyone. A swift and brutal justice.

            The absence of inane human chatter broke Remenissions of his reverie. The fellows were gathering themselves and their possessions, they were going to leave. He didn't bother to tell them that they were leaving him.

            Remenissions watched as one by one the fellows filed onto the trail. Leaving the dead to rot and, unknown to them leaving him. He spoke not a word, and didn't move until he was sure they had gone.  The paladin strapped his body shield to his arm, and placed his large warhammer back in its baldric before pulling out his scimitar well used scimitar. The swamp held the secrets of his enemy’s direction. He would find it and them.

            With vicious swings of his blade he cut down reeds, pussy willows, anything that grew tall or thick and interfered with his attempts to track down the victors of the horrible battlefield.  The humidity of the swamp coupled with the stench drained him. His arm began to ache quickly.

            The paladin's forehead dripped with sweat, but at last he had found it. Trampled plants and   un-booted footprints had finally revealed the path of his prey to him. 

            Remenissions was unsure how long he had travelled, but what sky he could see was filled with dark and heavy clouds.  The paladin looked to the sky as he marched forward. Sure of his direction.

            His mud covered boot failed to hit solid group on his next step. The paladin stumbled forward as a deep well of quicksand beckoned for him. Remenissions threw his sword and shield far ahead of him. Both landed with a thud on solid, muck covered ground.        
            "Better filthy then lost," he muttered to himself. He was sinking far faster than he would have thought. A corpse wrapped in a grave of water diluted sand could do little to the lizard men, nor would he be able to stop the corruption he believed present in his order. He waved his hands and arms about, only to sink further into the quicksand.

            Remenissions laid himself flat, slowing his descent. His problem still remained though now it was  a  slow and determined descent. The paladin looked around, a desperate and pointless search for a rope or a vine. Nothing in reach. But the ripple his body made gave a clear indication of where solid ground ended and the pit of quick sand began. The solid ground was just out of reach. Remenissions had an idea. But he knew failure would mean a horrific death from suffocation or drowning. How does a person die from quick sand? Do you drown? Or does the sand cut off your air? He pushed the distracting thought aside.  

            The holy warrior righted himself. His gradual descent to the bottom sped up once more. In a single movement Remenissions grabbed the hammer from the leather baldric on his back and swung for solid ground. The head of the hammer hit with a loud clumph, digging deep into the muck.