Thursday, 26th December, 2002, 05:09 PM #121
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Novice (Lvl 1)
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
- Glasgow, Scotland Alignment: Chaotic Neutral Skills: Perform (Roleplaying) +20, Bluff +20
ø Ignore Sixchan
You would have probably progressed anyway, I'm having a lot of computer trouble at the moment.
2/3 in,....and nary a peep.
Gallant (Lvl 3)
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
ø Ignore Mirth
Ceramic DM I & II -- http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=98651
what a tease!!!
Last edited by alsih2o; Saturday, 28th December, 2002 at 03:55 AM.
- Join Date
- Jan 2002
- Arnhem, the Netherlands
ø Ignore Maldur
So many games, so little time!
Gallant (Lvl 3)
- Join Date
- Jan 2002
- Tampere, Finland
ø Ignore NiTessine
This text has been written at 1 am, and the writer is not responsible for any typoes or logical errors.
Lieutenant Jason Lyndon, also known sometimes as "Liquid", walked into the Colonel's sand brown tent. They were in some nameless spot of land some miles south of the town of As Sallum. The Battle of El Alamein had come to a brief pause as Rommel's Afrika Korps had withdrawn to Tobruk. The Germans were licking their wounds in the confines of the Libyan town, waiting for the next British attack. And apparently, Talent commandos were needed to ensure the success of that attack. Again.
"Sir," Lyndon said, snapping a sharp salute at the officer. Colonel Winston waved it away, and spoke.
"I am going to be brief, because we do not have much time. We just received word that one of our planes crash landed in the desert some twenty miles south of Tobruk. The pilot sent out a distress signal and his coordinates on an open frequency, so the Germans probably got them, too. The pilot was carrying important missives from London to General Montgomery. Your squad will retrieve them, before the Germans get there. On your way, Lieutenant," the heavyset man finished, handing the rather leaner Talent a map with the crash site marked in the appropriate coordinates.
"Yes, Sir." Lyndon saluted again and left the tent on swift feet.
His squad was ready to act at once, as always. The five Talents were soon in their halftrack and busily raising a dust cloud on the clear sky of North Africa. It was dwarfed by the great plumes of greasy black smoke that rose from the burning tanks and other vehicles that dotted the landscape, destroyed by the tanks and artillery of the Eighth Army. The heavy vehicle left a broad track in the soft sand of Sahara (2).
Lyndon sat in the front seat with Sergeant William "Goggles" Beckinhurst. Beckinhurst was the best driver in the squad, and had eyes sharp enough to spot a man five miles away, tell the colour of his eyes, and put a bullet between them. The man had gone through Oxford before manifesting his extraordinary eyesight and immediately enlisted in the army.
They sat in the halftrack surveying the horizon for signs of life, as their vehicle made its way towards the crash site. The ground had gradually transformed from the soft, fine sand to a more rocky soil (4). The tracks made a terrible noise as their rolled over the stones. The Talents were nearly at the spot marked by 'X', when Goggles spoke.
"Sir, there is a dust plume in the horizon, moving in a north-south line towards the wreck. I'd say it's the jerries."
The Lieutenant peered at the horizon through his binoculars, and sighted the small cloud.
"One vehicle only. Good job, Goggles. Now step on it and get us there before the krauts."
Goggles saw the wreck soon, too. It was a small, fast two-man plane, though only one of the pilots was visible, and making great efforts to hide. The other vehicle also came soon to view, and was revealed to be a truck bearing the markings of the Third Reich and Afrika Korps.
"We've got company, lads!" Lyndon shouted to the four other Talents sitting in the back of the track.
"Oi, watch who yer callin' lad, boy!" came an indignant response in a thick Scottish accent. It was Corporal Kenneth "Illusionist" Wallace. The red bearded man claimed the legendary William Wallace was a direct ancestor of his, and certainly both shared the same dislike for English authority figures. Only his skill in creating large, credible illusions had kept him from facing the Court Martial for insubordination.
The halftrack drew up to the wrecked plane, while the truck full of Germans stopped some 120 feet away, turning a broad side to the British Talents. Lyndon recognized the maneuver.
"They've got a machine gun!" he cried, not a moment too soon. A flap in the German truck's cloth opened, and a Maschinengewehr-42 began its death rattle, spewing hot lead at the plane and the halftrack. Goggles ducked his head as the track's windows were shattered and the bullets began pounding the heavily armoured driver's compartment. Lyndon threw his door open and jumped out, placing the track's steel bulk between himself and the Germans.
The Lieutenant snuck a glance from under the track, and saw the German soldiers disembark from their truck, four in all. The machine gun required two men, plus the two in the driver's cabin… For a total of eight men. Easy, the lieutenant thought, as he took aim, removed the safety on his Thompson, and pulled the trigger.
The long burst took down both of the men at the machine gun, killing at least one of them instantly, Lyndon saw. Not many men lived after three bullets hit them in the face. After the burst, the Germans took quickly cover behind dunes, sending the occasional rifle shot at the halftrack but doing no real damage to anything other than the paint job.
Then, all of sudden, an enormous skeleton, ten feet tall, with eyes glowing hellfire and dark smoke pouring from its fanged maw, appeared in front of the Germans. It wielded a shot spear with a viciously barbed tip. It brandished the weapon menacingly, and started towards the Germans cowering in the sand. And, just as suddenly as it appeared, it disappeared with a fizzle.
"The bloody krauts've got a Zed!" came the Illusionists muffled and angry cry from within the halftrack. A Zed was a Talent who could counter the Talents of others, and could be very dangerous indeed.
The rest of his group had cut a hole in the cloth veiling the back compartment of the halftrack and come to accompany Lyndon in the cover the heavy vehicle offered. Staff Sergeant Lawrence Dorne lay next to Liquid, with his great scimitar unsheathed. The man had served in Egypt before the war, guarding the Arabian oil fields, and had received the weapon as a gift from a sheikh whose son's life he had saved. At this point of the war, Dorne had already dismantled three German Tigers and a Panther with the sword, cutting through steel as easily as flesh.
"Sir, did you see which one is the Zed?" the bald man asked.
"No. He's probably the sergeant or in the driver's cabin," Lyndon asked, spraying another ineffective burst of bullets at the Germans, laying behind the dunes. "Let's see if we can draw him out… Goggles, see if you can spot the Zed, now."
Lyndon poked his head from the cover to view the battlefield, and spied a German corpse with blood leaking from his eye socket. One of Goggles' kills, judging by the precision. The Talent lieutenant reached out a hand and closed his eyes, willing the blood to flow, and take on a form. Slowly, the red fluid drew out of the dead soldier's entire body, and shaped into a snake, rearing up from the ground to strike at the Germans. Immediately, Lyndon felt a foreign force tug at his construct of blood, and, after a few seconds, let the snake fall in the sand.
"Did you spot the man, Goggles?" he cried at the sharpshooter.
"Aye aye, sir. The one in the back, lying next to the truck.
"Good, thanks." Turning to look at one of his men, Lyndon said "Well, you heard him. Do the honours, John."
Private John Wilkins was a young Londoner who'd manifested a powerful armour against any physical harm. Bullets bounced off, blades shattered on his skin, and only a couple of days ago he'd been run over by a German command jeep, only to rise up, dust himself off, and shoot the offending vehicle's driver in the face.
Wilkins nodded, peeked out from behind the cover, flinched as a bullet bounced off his forehead, and fired.
"Got the bugger," he announced triumphantly.
"Let's finish them off, then," Lyndon replied with a feral grin.
Wilkins and Dorne rose up from the cover. Wilkins mostly served to attract fire, hitting little with his rifle. Dorne (1), however, fought for the two of them, whirling with his scimitar, cutting men to ribbons, slashing through their weapons raised in defence and swiftly cutting down those who tried to flee from this scimitar-wielding terror. With his great speed, they could not properly aim with their rifles, and the few bullets shot at the Brit flew far past their mark.
There were, however, enemies left to fight. The two men from the driver's cabin had stepped out. One of them carried a submachine gun, and the other, nothing. Alarm bells went off in Lyndon's head, and his fear was confirmed a fraction of a second later as the unarmed German raised his hands, pointing them towards his halftrack. Lyndon jumped up and to the side while letting fly with a wild burst towards the German Übermensch. A shot snapped into the man's knee, and the Nazi crumpled down in pain, but not before letting fly a ball of fire that hit the halftrack's driver's cabin. The explosion blew out what was left of the windows and incinerated Goggles. He had only time for a short and abrupt scream of agony. At least his death was swift, Lyndon reflected as he lay in the sand. He'd landed heavily on metal pieces of the airplane wreckage (5), bruising his arm.
The lieutenant rose from his position behind the wrecked airplane, shooting another burst at the Übermensch, killing the German Talent as Wallace's rifle round took his escort through the heart.
The last German was swiftly dispatched by Dorne, with a quick diagonal slash across the man's chest, cutting his upraised rifle in two like a matchstick.
The battle thus ended, Lyndon willed the blood from the slain Germans to spray over the burning driver's cabin, quenching the fire effectively though gruesomely. The lieutenant was relieved to see it had not been damaged beyond use. Driving back to base in a stolen German truck would have carried the lethal danger of mistaken identity.
The plane wreck was searched. One of the pilots had died in his seat in the cockpit, and the other lay a bit way off, his chest riddled with fresh bullet holes. A gun was in his other hand, and a black leather briefcase in the other.
Lyndon picked up the briefcase, turned it over to see the military markings, and walked back to the halftrack where the others waited.
"Let's go home."
Novice (Lvl 1)
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
ø Ignore Milo Bloom
Eirvar watched as the dust storm that had been blowing across the plain started to settle. He could make out some of the buildings closer to his viewpoint from the hilltop.
He looked out from his parent’s tent to the small camp of loyal Orlanthi. Like all his people, Eirvar’s village worshiped the storm god Orlanth, chieftain of the Pentian gods. Orlanth was also called the Lightbringer, as it was he who led the quest to bring back the sun god, Yelm, from the clutches of the underworld.
The camp’s leaders had warned everyone to stay inside their tents during the dust storm. But he had hoped to catch sight of the spirit Gagarath, the wild wind that Orlanth had unleashed upon those who sought to betray him to the conquering lunar army.
The village council had openly welcomed the lunar army into the village, after many of the village’s warriors had perished trying to oppose them. This angered their god and he brought down his wrath upon the area.
“Come away from the flap Eirvar, there is no sense in watching. Just pray the lunar garrison are too busy aiding their priest in driving off the wild hunter to notice our flight.”
He looked back into the tent and he could see his mothers watering eyes in the dim light of the cooking fire.
“Where are we going mother?”
“We head to Pavis. We have kin there we can rely on for aid and it is still a free city.”
His grandfather looked up from his writing. “Do not worry Voria, the clan history will remember Banatos as a hero and Roha as a traitor.”
His mother looked out the flap and to the few tents, pitched on the top of Giant’s Rest Hill. “That is not my worry, so few of us have fled the occupation. What will become of our people?”
His grandfather, spit upon the ground. “Curse the lunars and curse their thrice damned Red Goddess.”
The journey to Pavis was long and many of the refugees from the village left the group to stay with relatives in other villages. Along the way to their destination they had met up with other Orlanthi who were fleeing their homes as well. All across the northern reaches of Pent, cities were falling to the conquering might of the Lunar army.
Eirvar spent most of his waking hours talking to warriors from various villages and learning their art. A few of the villages had managed to bring some of their siege equipment with them. During one of his training sessions Halur, a warrior from a village that tried to completely resist the invaders, demonstrated the proper loading and firing techniques of a catapult.
The end of the journey, Pavis itself was something beyond Eirvar’s imagination. Built by giants for Pavis himself, it was an impossibly large city. The current city was built upon the ruins of the original city. The sight of it gave the band weary Orlanthi refugees some small glimmer of hope.
The soldiers at the gate looked warily at the influx of people that were pouring into their city. It was obvious from their glares that they did not appreciate the tired and hungry people entering their city.
Eirvar watched as the cities delegation to the lunar army returned from their meeting. He knew surrender was the only option left to the city, but it still did not remove the taste of bile from his mouth.
Rumor had been circulating around the city of late that the lunar priests were preparing to unleash the Crimson Bat upon Pavis. Few sane men wanted to face the creature. The Chaos Bat was said to be large enough that you could fit the city of Pavis on it’s back.
Fighting the army with such a demonic force on its side would have insured the destruction of the entire population. Eirvar recalled Halur’s tale of the bat’s destruction of his village. People by the scores were fed to appease the creature’s appetite.
Surrender or complete destruction had been the only option left open to Pavis. None of the warriors on the walls were happy with giving over the city without a fight. The city council cautioned many of the more vocal Orlanthi to flee the city to the free lands in Dragon Pass.
Eirvar had already decided he would stay in the city and try to help those who would suffer under the policies set by the occupying lunar forces. Perhaps in time those who fled the city would return with an army.
As Yelm readied his descent into the underworld, the streets of Pavis were at their busiest. Eirvar, warrior-thane of humakt, stalked his way through the section of the city known as the Old Towne. It took little effort to ignore the calls of the shopkeepers and beggars he passed. He had always hated this part of town and often wondered why Altonar insisted on building his temple to Lhankor Mhy here. But then the minds of Lhankor Mhy priests, the grey sages, were always more focused on their books and not on concerns such as appearances and safety. He wished that his own leaders were not so open to the teachings of the lunar’s Red Goddess.
His trek to the destination passed with little incident and he entered the library that was the temple of the lord of knowledge. He noted several sages were gathered around a rather large skeletal bat they had laid on a black cloth. One of the initiates, a youth of about sixteen who had yet to grow his own beard, approached as he entered.
“Greetings sword brother, what may the sages of Lhankor Mhy do for you?”
“I seek the sage Ilstan, he who is renowned throughout the city for his knowledge of all things relating to the God War and the Great Darkness that followed Yelm’s death.”
He entered the stairwell indicated by the initiate and began to descend into the darkness. Calling upon the power of Orlanth’s lightbringer aspect, he triggered the lanterns that lined the staircase. Even if Orlanth’s brother had severed his ties with his divine family, Eirvar was still an Orlanthi at heart.
He stopped momentarily at the hallway to get his bearings and headed down one of the hallways. Watching the numbers on the various labs, he stopped at the one numbered one hundred and fifty seven.
With some care he knocked on the wooden door.
“I’m in the middle of a very important research, I do not wish to be disturbed.”
“It’s Eirvar, sword of Humakt.”
The wooded food door open and an elderly man peered out suspiciously at Eirvar.
“So it is, so it is. Do come in lad, the hour is still early and there is much to talk about.”
The two men spent the evening talking of times of old and the people they had known. During the evenings meal his great uncle stole several glances at a wooden box sitting on his workbench. As the late hours of the night became spent Eirvar stood as if to signal his eminent departure.
“I must head back to the temple shortly. There is much work to be done in preparation for the Emperor’s surveyor Jarx’s arrival. He is a noble man and has many enemies among the various lunar houses.”
His uncle looked once more at the box on the table and reached over to pick it up. Cradling the box in his arms he looked at his nephew and gave a faint smile.
“I know of Jarx, he is a good man and a learned one as well. His death would sadden many among my order.”
“Fear not then Uncle, the lunar governor has appointed me responsible for his safety as long as he is in our city.”
His uncle opened the box so that Eirvar could see what lay within. He had never seen a morning star of more exquisite craftsmanship.
“What?” he had never known his uncle to be a man of arms. He floundered for the meaning of his uncle’s possession of the weapon.
“It is Wonulan’s Morning Star, forged by the dwarves from true iron and contains a piece of the Block of Law in it’s handle. It is a gift that I now entrust to you.”
Eirvar’s reached tentively for the weapon his uncle lay before him. Wonulan, Pavis’s steward who, with this morning star, defeated a score or more of the foul chaos beasts known as broo. A man who wielded this weapon could easily sway the hearts of the loyal citizens of Pavis.
“I can not carry this Uncle. Humakt’s forbidding of blunt weapons aside, the lunar army would seize it from me in an instant.”
“I am aware of this, this is not a gift that I give to you, nephew. Instead it is a gift I ask you to bear to another. There is a man, Arakat, who even now tries to gather together an army to march upon Pavis. Bring him the morning star and offer it to him as a sign that even now within Pavis’s walls there are those yearning to throw of the Lunar government from our lands.”
A slow smile spread across Eirvar’s face as he understood what this would mean for Pavis as well as all the Pentian lands currently under lunar occupation. It only pained him that his grandfather could not have survived to see the day their people would again be free.
“When do you wish for me to leave to meet this Arakat?”
Novice (Lvl 1)
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
ø Ignore Milo Bloom
The pictures are in order
City with the smoke in the first section
The man and catapult are in the second section
The bat skeleton and the man peeking out the door are both in the fourrth section
the morning star is in the final section.
I will say I set this in Glorantha as an test. I plan on running a D20 Glorantha game at some point.
Good luck to everyone.
sorry I never replied on the first round. Got very busy with Christmas stuff and errands while down in Jacksonville.
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