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Thread: Siege Of Bordrin's Watch
Thursday, 7th May, 2009, 07:59 PM #1
Greater Elemental (Lvl 23)
Siege Of Bordrin's Watch
Captain Maul stands upon the parapet of Bordrin’s Watch, leaning against the large trebuchet. Out across the rocky expanse of the Stonehome Mountains before and below him, he sees a slow march of figures coming up the Dwarfroad from the west. He extends his spyglass and begins scanning the rows upon rows of marching companies, mentally calculating the numbers in his head. After a few moments he snaps the spyglass shut, and he turns to his aide at his side.
"'Tis a large force. Is true. But nowhere near the numbers we have heard. They cannot assault us with this force."
He glances back concerned, and his lips twitch slightly. His aide inquires as to the Captain’s orders, and Maul responds without facing him. "Get word back from the scouts. Find out where the rest of this army is. I was told that there was a new warlord who was in command, but I see nothing to indicate a massive reorganization. I need more information, aye?"
As the aide shuffles off to carry out his command, Captain Maul breathes in and then breaths out a heavy sigh. "Where are ye, Tusk? I know you are out there. Somewhere. I'll find ye. I'll find ye."
The five high-backed chairs that sit upon the twenty foot dais within the High Hall, all hold their respective owners. The five members of the Council of Elders, five dwarves of surpassing intelligence, resources, and charisma, sit upon their cushioned seats listening to the message that was brought before them. The five rule the city of Overlook with a steady hand, and thus are the first line of defense when duty calls.
"If I am to understand you," says the youngest of the three male Elders, a confident dwarf with a long black beard and hard, stern face by the name of Cadrick. "You say that this army isn’t coming over the mountains, but rather through it?" As the messenger nods in the affirmative, Elder Cadrick nods his head slowly. "Interesting. Inventive. Inspired. Those tunnels have not been used in centuries. Advanced parties that could breach the tunnel’s defenses could encircle us easily."
The messenger quickly bows and takes his leave, and Cadrick stands to think aloud and discuss the events with his fellows in the Council. "A multi-pronged assault then, it seems. It is no wonder Maul requested the militia be reformed. Not only do we need to assist the Watch, but also close off any openings on our side of the Stonehome but quick. How many are there?" "Four that we know of" responds Elder Auda, the older of the two females. "Shackles, the Sundered Chain, the Vents, and under the Watch itself." Cadrick nods once and then turns out to face some of the other men and women below them on the floor of the High Hall. "Alert Forgeheart. Tell him to get the militia in order… both from here in the city, as well as the surrounding towns. I want all available mercenary companies and adventurers in on this too. Standard military pay. Send an envoy into the Westdeep as well… perhaps we’ll finally get a response from those damned elves. I want my volunteers here in three days. Got it?" A murmur of agreement ripples through the workers below, and with that the men and women… dwarves, humans, halflings and others alike… all quickly move out to put Cadrick’s orders into effect.
The voice rings out through the streets of Overlook. A dwarven warrior by the name of Durkik Forgeheart, known to most as a captain of the city's militia, stands on the back of a cart as it is pulled through the city streets.
"How can we forget the suffering of our kin during the Age of Chains? How can we set aside those ancient grudges when the risk of slavery is now greater than ever? Fellow warriors, the orcs are upon us, marching once more to the beat of the giants’ drum. It falls to us to stop them—to hold fast no matter their numbers. If we falter, we give into fear. It’s not just ourselves and our way of life that will suffer; all people of the Elsir Vale will perish as well. War is upon us. Now is the time for men and women of courage to stand up and defend those who cannot defend themselves!"
It is a speech that the older amongst the city have heard before. Every several decades an orc warlord with itchy feet gets delusions of grandeur and believes he can conquer the lands to the east. But every wave of green crashes against the one hundred foot walls of Bordrin’s Watch and is turned away. But it is only because of the strong bodies and stronger hearts of the men and women of Overlook that the Watch succeeds. The militia needs us. Needs us to fight. To defend our families and our homes.
"Two days! Meet in the High Hall of Caer Overlook in two days! Armed and ready to move! Show us the stuff with which you’re made!"
The echoes of his voice grow faint as he rides on past. But we have heard the call. And now we just need to respond.
Last edited by DEFCON 1; Thursday, 8th October, 2009 at 09:32 PM.
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Thursday, 7th May, 2009, 08:52 PM #2
Superhero (Lvl 15)
Gala, elven predator druid
Durkik Forgeheart stood in the wooden cart, and uttered his call to arms for the third time that evening. Slinking beneath the cart, against the shadows of the wooden wheels, a small creature stirred. It looked like a large dog, but not quite – the hair was coarser, the muzzle slightly longer. In fact, it looked like a jackal, brown-grey stripes playing against the twilight and the shadows of the spokes, its eyes slate grey, casting about the crowd. When the speech was finished, the cart slowly rolled on to the next square in town, and the soft pads of the jackal’s paws trotting along, seen but unnoticed by almost everyone, save for a small child, who cooed “Ooh… puppy!”
Years ago, Galatea had learned the secret to getting by in town: if you wear a collar, people will assume you are a pet. Without a collar, you could be anything – wild, feral, certainly a threat. So Gala had a collar made, so that when she was in her jackal form she would look as she did now, as a slightly odd dog that was on its way home. She wore the collar all the time, even when she was her other self, because the collar had a power of its own, and could help her as she padded over the land, watching it. Gala had been raised in the woods that abutted the town, and indeed her childhood had been a happy one. Trade with the dwarves had been steady, and her parents affluent. But that was years ago, and when she first sensed the call, she knew that the break from her old life would hurt. It did. In the past twenty years she’d barely spoken to any other elves, and certainly she couldn’t go back, not now. Not after the wasting.
The images people have of druids differ widely – the dwarves think of the elemental lords who protect them on their cliffsides; most elves think of the shapechangers who wander the woods as their sworn protectors. Gala had left the woods, called to the stretches of barren rocky landscape that were also part of the natural world, and in need of protection. So she wasted, those many years. She starved herself, like the land starved. She had shorn herself, that she might be the desolate emptiness of the parched landscape. And her faith had been rewarded – she had been given her form. Her true form, the jackal. That was years ago, when she left the woods. To protect the barren ground that this dwarf was now saying was threatened by the orcs.
Sometimes for druids, a new form is a choice. Gala didn’t want that – she wanted it to be real. The first time she went a few months before changing back. Then she went for six years. As an elf, she had the luxury of time, and being true to her real self was crucial if she were to serve the land well. She’d been with this pack for four years, now, eating with them, even, in time, having a litter. The curious jackal who wore a collar in the wild. With the pack, she had also served the land. But when the orcs had come, the pack had been slaughtered. The cave in which they lived was close to a larger underground access, and that was reason enough to remove any predators. Her brood, her mate, all of them were now dead, except her. So, alone, she had gone back on two legs, and had gone back into town.
With the dwarves, she could drink (another thing she’d discovered many years back), but she needed to be upright for that. And now she wanted to drink. And it was sitting in an alehouse earlier this evening that she had first heard the call to arms. A few coins on the table, and suddenly the scrawny elf with the slate-grey eyes was no longer sitting by he window, but a small dog was yelping outside the open window. And now it was trotting beneath the wheels of the oxcart Durkik was using as a rostrum. The dwarf wanted a different army? He would get it… he would have the speaker for the land herself. And she would get it back from the orcs. In the name of her mate, in the name of her pups, and in the name of her pack.
Thursday, 7th May, 2009, 09:18 PM #3
*Clang, Clang, Clang*
Tregar looked with pride at his current piece, a scythe for a local farmer, as the metal cooled. The beads of sweat poured down his sooty face, tracing tiny rivulets into the blackened visage, revealing the tanned skin underneath. His muscles ached, they always did, after the repetition of hammering metal all day.
"Moradin, please guide my hand" the dwarf thinks to himself, as he did every time he was about to strike the metal. He was a follower of the Soulforger and did his best to honour the deity in his actions. Although his efforts were greater than his results, this didn't deter Tregar, he had continued his work for years in town, he wasn't the best blacksmith, not by a long shot, but his work was adequate and most of the townsfolk could rely on his honest pricing.
Wiping the sweat away from his wrinkled forehead with an equally dirty forearm did little to clean his face, rather it just smeared the soot around. Grabbing the tongs he was about to place the implement back in the flames when he heard some commotion outside. Looking out through the open doorway, Tregar saw the dwarven militia captain moving through the streets.
Stopping his work, carefully setting aside the piece, the dwarf moved to hear what Durkik was saying. Leaning against the doorway, Tregar listened with interest, although careful to hide any emotions, after the captain had moved along he went back into his shop, closing the door behind him and hanging the "Closed for the Day" sign on the window.
Tregar walked slowly over to the locked chest in the back of a carefully concealed stone in the floor. He gingerly pulled out a simple unadorned wooden box, setting it carefully on a table. Tregar opened the box and sitting on a velvet cushion was a silver holy symbol of the Allfather. He reverently ran his calloused fingers over the item, feeling the cool metal with his fingers and drawing inspiration from its touch.
"The time is now, I must stand up to these orcs. Moradin, your will be served" Tregar prays, as he carefully lifts the symbol out of the box and places it over his head, letting it fall to his chest. He had kept his abilities secret for all these long years in town, knowing that if he revealed himself, the others would desire for him to use his gifts as a regular guard, or worse, a hired blade. Tregar had been content to work and live a simple life, but now as hints of gray were starting to appear in his dark black hair, the time for action was at hand.
Over the two days available to him, Tregar would spend most of the time in quiet meditation, reconnecting with Moradin. As the time approached, he began gathering his gear; the battered chainmail, the simple iron staff, and the nearly new crossbow. Spending the time to strap on the gear, Tregar looked more and more like the able-bodied hero that he was, a vessel for Moradin's will on this plane.
Tregar looked one last look at the quiet forge, the empty anvil, the cooled furnace with a feeling that this was the last time he'd see this place, a feeling he couldn't shake as he closed the door on his past life and began walking towards his new one. Tregar marched purposefully and directly to the High Hall.
Thursday, 7th May, 2009, 10:15 PM #4
Enchanter (Lvl 12)
Chris was walking on the street when he heard Durkik Forgeheart. He stop a moment and listen to the dwarf. As he understood what happen, a mix of anger and despair fill his heart. He turned around to see a man staring at him. Chris did a mean look and the man did a step aside. Chris head toward the Salty Mug and entered the tavern. He quickly found a seat at the counter and ask for a mug of ale.
A moment later, three young men entered the place. The leader of the group scanned the place and his eyes stop on Chris, who was showing his back. The man walk behind him, his two companions surround Chris. "Your kind is not welcome in this city." Chris didn't react to his words and instead took a sip of his ale. "Let's make a good deed. Let's get rid of that orc." add the young man.
Quickly, Chris took his mug and spilled the content in the face of one goon. He then use the mug as a club and hit the second goon who fall in the ground unconscious. As he stood up, he striked with his knee in the groin of the blinded goon. The leader draw a dagger and tried to stab Chris who dodged. Grabbing his stool, he strikes at the leader who get the first hit on the leg. He made a step back, hesitating. It was just the moment needed by Chris who strike again at the young man face. Chris opponent felt unconscious.
It took only a few moment and the fight was over. He let the stool fall on the ground and grabbed the dagger and gently throw it on the bar, near Krunk. "Those are not toys for boys. Keep that away from them." He then look around, people was looking at him. His orcish heritage was obvious. He was tall and muscular. His long lower canine teeth and his gray skin gives no doubt, but the facial traits are less crude than the orcs. "Nobody have seen an half-orc before?"
Last edited by Velmont; Friday, 8th May, 2009 at 06:40 PM.
"Experience is that great thing that allow you to see a mistake when you do it again."
Thursday, 7th May, 2009, 11:06 PM #5
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
“Sister Tresa, Sister Tresa! Have you heard? The orcs is comin’; the orcs is comin’. Old Hermund at the market says they gonna gobble us up. They gonna…” Whatever else the small boy was going to say was lost as he burst into exhausted tears. He hobbled up to Tresa, his home made crutch clattering over the rubbish strewn cobbles to the steps where the priestess sat bathing her feet.
Tresa hung her head and, with a damp hand, brushed back a wayward tress of hair that had escaped from one of her buns. After a moment to gather her wits she looked up and smiled widely at the urchin before her. “Now, now! Gareth, don’t be afraid. Come here and sit beside me and tell me what that old blowhard has been saying.
As the boy sat, Tresa emptied out the pottery basin in which she had been washing her feet and turned to listen to his story. She did not believe his story for one moment but she would do what she could to reassure the child.
It was an hour later when she heard the news again, this time from Henry the poleaxeman at the abattoir. He came with his usual basket of poor quality meat, bones and offal for the needy at the temple. It was his way of atoning for a life of killing in the mercenary company to which they had both belonged. He gave food to the poor of Nine Bells, she attended to their wounds and to their illnesses.
“Aye! ‘Tis true! The greenskins have found someone to lead them. Someone with a bit more intelligence than normal. ‘Tis said there are thousands of orcs and goblins and other fell beasts heading for us even as we speak. Did ye not hear Captain Durkik’s call to arms? He were drawn through town on a cart asking for all able-bodied folk to step up an’ be counted.”
Tresa laughed a weary laugh “Look about you, Henry. This is Nine Bells. Where are the able-bodied here? No-one lives here who can find a place elsewhere.”
She suddenly took in the tone of Henry’s voice and looked up keenly at her old friend. “You’re going to sign up, aren’t you? But what about your oath? You swore not to kill again.”
Henry hung his head and looked sheepish. “Aye, I will be joining the militia. I went to see Father John at the Temple of Kord and he absolved me of my oath. He said that fighting to protect the defenceless is a worthy reason and is not the same as fighting for gold.”
He stared down into Tresa’s homely face. His eyes wandered over her lined features, her greying hair. Even for a dwarf she seemed old before her time. “And so, Tresa. What about you? Will you join also?”
Friday, 8th May, 2009, 02:28 AM #6
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Warrick Steel, Male Elven Ranger/Avenger
Warrick had heard the call go out earlier in the morning, a dwarven plea to arms against a goblinoid horde. The young yet weathered elf brushed at a stray hair, tucking the blud/black unruly strands back behind his ear. The call peeled louder, closer, a hint of desperation in the dwarf's deep rumble. Warrick shook his head to the negative as his teeth gritted, a popping noise coming from his jaw. He had wanted to just sit at the bar and drink . . . he had earned that right, earned it in blood.
The elven ranger had tried it before . . . tried to throw his life away when the pain got too great. He was young, and the world had seemed so crystal clear back then. It was only the eladrin known as Aleyssia that had managed to calm his boiling blood at the time . . . to give him the focus that he did not feel himself, a purpose even.
It was no coincidence that the call to stand against the coming horde came so soon after Warrick had learned . . . 'too soon' . . . he couldn't even think it or his vision would see only red.
He stood, resolute, determined as a proud man could be heading to the gallows. The elf walked to the wagon and sat on the edge, saying nothing, the hard line of his lips and his furrowed brow brooking no conversation. There was nothing to say, his fate had already been determeined. That could be the only result, he had been saved years before so that he could face this horde now . . . saved so that his death would have more meaning today.
Meaning was fine for those left behind . . . for Warrick, he'd still be dead.
Friday, 8th May, 2009, 03:46 PM #7
Superhero (Lvl 15)
As evening drew on, the sun lowered itself over the forest where I was born. The dwarf’s cart had stopped, and he was seated on the edge of his cart, a stern-faced elf sitting beside him, answering the questions of the remainder of the thinning crowd. I knew I was going, that I wanted to go. But I had no one to say good-bye to, so I had two days to wait. So it’s back to the pub.
I padded off, and soon found a closed shop where I could go back on two legs without drawing attention. As I did (third change today – it’s disorienting after so long) my head cleared, the ale from having burned away with my quickened jackal heartbeat. I adjust my collar, pull my fingers through my short shock of hair, and headed into the Salty Mug for another pint.
It’s easy to be alone in the city. Most people aren’t interested in someone quiet, and in a city that is mostly dwarves I know it is easy enough to keep to myself. I work my way to a small table, and pull one of the two seats out, my back to the rest of the crowd.
There’s an excitement in the pub, with small groups talking about the impending threat, and the possibility of adventure. At the surrounding tables, though, it doesn’t take long for enthusiasm to give way to uncertainty and hesitancy. In the Salty Mug, there’s one patron who stands almost two feet above the dwarves that fill the place. He attracts attention. It’s a quick tussle, and he’s quickly disarmed three of them. Can handle himself, well. But it’s obvious why they were provoked. He looks like an orc, but even from here I can smell the human in him.
Victorious, he challenges the assembled crowd, "Nobody here seen an 'alf-orc before?" Of course. But what’s he doing here? He must know a place like this will be trouble.
As the silence he has created begins to be broken by the starts of whispered conversations, I speak up, calling to him. "You'll get yourself killed if you keep that up. Why don't you have a seat, and have an ale instead?"
Friday, 8th May, 2009, 05:31 PM #8
Greater Elemental (Lvl 23)
The hobgoblin Krunk barely glances at the three prone figures lying bloodied at the bar of his bar. The fact that this halfork took out the three fools as easily as he did said less about his skills, and more about the foolishness of the youth within Tradetown.
"Nobody here seen an 'alf-orc before?" the greyskinned male asks, but before Krunk can respond, an elf female is quick with a reply. "You'll get yourself killed if you keep that up. Why don't you have a seat, and have an ale instead?"
Krunk runs an appraising eye over the elf, his glance lingering momentarily over the leather collar around her neck. Knowing not what it symbolizes, he instead addresses them both.
"She ain't kiddin', pal." Krunk says. "'Fact, it might happen anyways. Check the forearms of the three ya just conked out. Ya find a tattoo of a snake wrapped all the way 'round... ya better make yerself scarced. The Lost One's don't take kindly to their number being thinned."
He walks down the length of the bar and then comes around front. "I got no problems with ya, but I also know who's in charge. If these are Lost Ones, I'm gonna have to squeal to the next higher'up that comes in here." The hobgoblin crosses his arms, waiting to see what the halfork and elf woman do.
Friday, 8th May, 2009, 05:44 PM #9
Greater Elemental (Lvl 23)
Robin Mathews skips his way through the Forgeworks district, as fast as his fourteen year old legs can carry him. His pa sent him here into town to pick up the new scythe, and Robin cannot contain his excitement. With the jangle of gold pieces in his pocket and the thought of a large sausage soon to be his lunch, he weaves his way around the other pedestrians, looking for Tregar's shop.
I wonder what kind of designs he carved into the handle? thinks Robin, remembering the different curls and swooshes on all the other spades, rakes, and iron tools his pa has gotten from Tregar in the past. The boy was always fascinated with the dwarf's handiwork, and as the shop comes into view, his smile begins to grow.
However, the smile immediately disappears as he arrives at the door to the shop and sees the sign hanging there. 'Closed for the Day'. Closed? Now? It's not even midday! How can this be? Pa will be mighty upset if Robin returns to the famr without the new scythe!
The young man takes a few moments to glance in the windows of the shop, and sees that is is dark and empty. He then hurries around to the back, in hopes that some evidence of life can be found. But when the rear alley and entrance is also barren, he cannot hope but lose faith. Sighing, he moves to the rear door and raises his fist... and gives the wood a few hard, swift, knocks.
"Mister Tregar? Mister Tregar? Are you at home? I'm here to pick up my pa's new scythe!"
Friday, 8th May, 2009, 06:08 PM #10
Greater Elemental (Lvl 23)
Father John Marcus Russell walks around the dirty pews, gliding a rag over the old and faded wood. The temple had gotten awfully dirty, awfully fast. Not a scant hour after the announcements of the Watch needing support did a flood of people cascade into the place to pray for Kord's help and to strengthen their minds and bodies. As a priest in his service, Father John had spent several hours speaking to various men and women, giving advice and lending an ear. But of all the ones who came through, it was Henry's plea that affected him the most.
Father John knew of Henry's prior life, as the man had prayed for forgiveness many times over. He also knew of the several others that had joined him in the mercenary company to which he was a member. Sister Tresa at the temple around the corner, Axraxas the tiefling who stood guard at Madam Poppy's, Giant Mogg at the slave pit. They all had blood on their hands from their time with the company, but only Henry came to him looking for a way to make good. He never really knew how best to answer him. That is, until today.
Henry wants to join the militia. Fight for a cause, not just for his purse. The thought brings a smile to Father John's face, as it's the clearest example of the change in the man. He was more than happy to give his permission to the poleaxeman to do this deed, and as he rubs the scum from the pew, he gives himself a slight chuckle. "Henry, you old dog... Kord sees this of you. And I think he agrees with it. I hope your friends can find the same peace that you now have."
Father John Marcus Russell looks up and out of the front door to the temple and watches the urchins run across the cobbled stones. "For those who seek salvation, defending this city would be a damned good start."