Besieged by Bones




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  1. #1
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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)



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    Besieged by Bones

    "What I still don't understand" Sir Rand declared "is why the king didn't make us the Wardens. Who is better suited than those knights who have long defended the place?"

    Dame Ann Winter felt the same way, but there was no use in complaining about such things. She dug into the magically delicious breakfast that was laid out before her. After the Baron's funeral last night, the knights had all agreed that calling upon the feast would be a fitting way to mark the occasion and boost their morale, even though as a rule it should be saved for expeditions and special occasions.

    Luke replied "I see your point, but maybe this place needs new blood. An old man like me has seen many leaders come and go. As much as I miss the Baron, I have to say that nothing has changed around here for years. Everything is all right, to be sure, but where's the growth? In his youth, the Baron enlarged the harbor enough to bring some trade to our shore, and the people live better because of it. But that was over fifty years ago."

    Ann's thoughts turned back to the old Baron. In some ways he'd been like a father to her. Should she even stay in Absten now?

    After breakfast she headed right down to the stable. The Ram caught up with her. "If you're going for a ride in the woods, let me come with you. You know it's not safe" he said.

    "No, I need to clear my head. Don't worry, I can take care of myself. And there have been no orc attacks recently."
    Last edited by kinem; Saturday, 18th August, 2012 at 08:19 PM.

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    The sky was clear, and the the morning sunlight filtered easily through the loose green canopy of the Red Forest.

    This was not a trail that Ann was familiar with. Still, she wasn't worried, with the sun to guide her; she could always ride westward towards the coast.

    She came upon a clearing with a stream running through it. On the opposite side was something dark jutting up from the earth. She tied her horse to a tree and dismounted, leaving her heavy shield with the horse. She refreshed her face with the water, then strolled downstream as she inspected the ancient ruins on the opposite bank.

    She knew little of the ancient people who had built here. Legends were told of a king made of stone, who wisely ruled for many years, until his own people had rebelled and demanded to govern themselves. The stone king was strong enough to crush the rebellion, but chose not to, instead sending himself into exile. However, with no more long term stability, the people soon began fighting among themselves and the civilization fell into ruin.

    It was a single snap of a branch which alerted her in time to draw her sword.

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    Though she'd only heard one coming, three figures charged out of the woods towards her. Their brown studded leather armor perhaps gave some camouflage among the trees. Their falchions were drawn and they began to shout in their own guttural language.

    From their grayish-green skin, flat nose, and tusk-like teeth, Ann knew them to be orcs. She had thought that the bright morning sunlight would make such attacks unlikely, and she could see that they were squinting and bothered by it, but that disadvantage was more than compensated for by their greater number.

    Holding her longsword in a two-handed grip, the Dame did not hesitate to strike the first blow, and her sword pierced the abdomen of the lead orc. A man would have fallen then. The ferocious orc remained on his feet and tried to return the favor, but he missed.

    "This is our land!" one of the other orcs told her in a rough voice as they moved to flank her. "Now you are ours." His falchion flashed by inches in front of her face.

    "We argued" the other said "to make a half orc with you or a dinner from you. We chose dinner!" His blade struck a glancing blow on her chainmail, but it was enough to ruin much of the boost she still felt from the morning's breakfast.

    Ann's reply was another thrust into the stomach of the wounded orc, and it was enough to bring him down.

    The two remaining orcs, one on either side of her, swung again. Their heavy blades packed more power than a longsword, though their lighter armor was Ann's main advantage. One of the falchions struck true this time; a small cut to her leg, but it was enough to tell her that she was in serious trouble.

    Ann's next swing of her sword was off, easily dodged by the more talkative orc.

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    Luckily for Ann, both orcs then struck only her armor. She slashed the one to her right, wounding him deeply as blood flowed forth, but he managed to stay on his feet and fight despite the wound.

    And his next attack cut into Ann's back. It wasn't a deep wound, but painful enough as blood dripped through her armor to the earth, and she knew that another hit on her from those falchions would be more than she could take.

    She cut him down, and the remaining orc missed her.

    "Just you and me now. Still want to fight? I challenge you!"

    A one-on-one fight was much more to Ann's liking, and her sword tasted blood again, with a cut to the orc's chest; though as with the other orcs, he stayed on his feet even as he began to bleed out. Even so, it was obvious that he was severely hampered by the wound.

    The two of them traded misses. Neither doubted that the next blow to strike home would end the fight.

    The orc's swing missed, but Ann had an idea. If she retreated now, the orc was in poor condition to follow. She backed off and went to her horse, grabbing her shield. If it weren't for the safety of her horse, she would simply have run for it.

    The orc staggered towards her, and his swing bounced off of her heavy wooden shield. Her next thrust - one handed now - stabbed through the orc's leather armor. But it wasn't quite enough to bring him down.

    The orc knew he had one last chance to retaliate. He swung his falchion with great force, and the mighty blow struck Ann's armor and was turned aside.

    Ann's next swing cut only air. Shield or no, one more solid hit from the orc would be the end of her.

    The orc never got the chance to swing again, as the blood loss finally overcame him. He slumped and tumbled forward, dead.

    Ann breathed a sigh of relief. Wondering where the orcs got their blades from - for she doubted that they manufactured them - she took the sword from the fallen orc. She went back and took the blades from the other dead orcs too. It would be just a little harder for the orcs to equip themselves in deadly fashion.

    Glancing across the stream, she saw a gaping doorway in the ruins. "Is that where you lived?" The dead orcs didn't answer, and Ann didn't stick around to investigate.
    Last edited by kinem; Thursday, 23rd August, 2012 at 12:03 AM.

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    One week later ...

    It is late afternoon when a procession of eleven horsemen arrives in front of Fort Pierre. They have been traveling for a week, and are tired from the road. Eight of them are guards, sent to protect the others on the journey north from the capital, and will begin the return journey tomorrow. The trip had proven uneventful, though the group encountered a number of troops going the other way: headed south to swell King Jarvis' armies as war threatens on the southern border.

    Fort Pierre is an imposing structure, with 30' tall gray stone walls on all four sides. Guard towers at each corner stand 35 feet high, and three archers in each tower peer down at the approaching group.

    Fort Pierre
    1 sq = 10'

    The iron portcullis is soon raised, and at the direction of the guards, three horsemen ride through the gate and dismount. Servants take the horses, while a dark-haired young man in chainmail armor greets the men. "Hello there! Well met. I am Sir Samuel Ram, and you three are Wardens, I take it. I will need to see your papers now, just to be sure, but you certainly match the descriptions that were given us."

    He is flanked by four more guards in chainmail armor. The young man who speaks has a longsword while the guards bear greatswords, but it is obvious by the ram sigil on his armor that he outranks them.

    Once that business is dealt with, the three Wardens are led inside the inner keep, while the guards are led to the left along with the horses.

    The foyer is unfurnished, but the next room past it is filled with chairs and has a dais on the east wall.

    Those seated inside rise to greet the newcomers. A somewhat elderly man in a fancy tunic, leaning on his quarterstaff, leads the introductions. "Good afternoon. I am Steward Luke Wingate. Well met."

    Another man in chainmail armor (with a lion inscribed) and bearing a longsword speaks. "Hello, Sirs. I am Sir Donald Rand." He is somewhat older than Sir Ram, but still in his prime.

    The other figure in chainmail armor is a young woman. Her features are attractive, but her perpetually grim expression is all business. "Hello. I am Dame Ann Winter. Welcome to Absten." On her armor is inscribed a snowflake, and she too bears a longsword.

    One other man remains to greet the newcomers ...

    OOC: Go ahead and post!

    renau1g
    The remaining man is Weiss Magie, who was already in Absten.

    Weiss will now be the Chaplain at Fort Pierre. There was a young acolyte here already, by the name of Herman Rand. You've already met him. He's a cousin of Sir Donald. He also serves Erastil and will now be under your authority. He may not like the demotion, but seems eager to defend and spread the faith.

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    The darker, armored man steps forward with helmet in his left hand and his right hand on his pommel. He introduces himself in a slightly foreign accent, "I am Diego Jose Delgado de Castile, and I have been asked to serve as both warden and sheriff. I would like to ask what our situation here is, according to you whom have resided here awhile."
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    The ranger grinds his teeth and grips the reins tightly. Tension is visible in his body. Unconcealed disgust glows in his eyes.
    Grab those dice! Gird your loins! Tonight, evil loses! | Buy Spes Magna Games PDFs | Be a Spes Magna fan | Do you know Quid Novi?

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    The skeleton approaches your group. "I want to be clear; when I said send a small group to town, I meant just a few men. Three men, say. If you need further assurance of their safety, I will remain with your forces until the men return from town."

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    Cael growls, "Be as clear as you want, but do not mistakenly think you dictate terms."
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    "As long as you don't summon help - and the small group is to ensure that you don't - we hold the advantage here. The roads have been blocked by signs warning of plague. You will starve. We will not."

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