Road's End - Begin
Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:50 AM
Dispersing after only a few passes, the mosquitoes' buzzing faded off into the trees in search of easier prey. The only one that remained was continuing to siphon blood from John's shoulder. The lad was pale and sweating coldly, hacking blindly and in vain as he attempted to cut the insect off himself. Arthur, being closest to the victim, stabbed the creature and pulled it off and out of John, not without a good deal of strain; the proboscis had sunk in deep. The bug was very dead and dripping with John's blood.
As a sense of calm settled over the party, Kurtz went back to issuing commands. He told John to take a drink and sit down for a minute on a dry stump protruding from the water. "And someone bandage that wound for him," he added. "I'd like to keep moving."
Posted 02 January 2013 - 02:33 PM
"Right, just give me a second," Lynaia replied to Kurtz, walking over to the injured John. After a quick examination of the wound, she pulled a length of cloth from her bag, laying it down over the wound before snaking it under John's arm to tie it off.
"Sorry if this hurts," she said cinching the knot tight, "but the pressure will help stop the bleeding. I doubt there are any medicinal herbs in a place this foul," she said, looking at their surroundings with a distasteful expression. "Perhaps when we get out of this place I'll be able to find you something to help, but you should be fine for now."
Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:20 PM
He strode alongside John the hunter, who fell first victim to the bloodsuckers, nursing a wound with the help of one of the elves.
"Are you gonna be alright?" he asked.
Edited by Halicon, 03 January 2013 - 03:36 PM.
Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:56 PM
"Not a bad patch job," he started, trying as hard as he could to be polite, "I can't wait to leave this foul place behind us."
Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:52 AM
John's mood was seemingly untouched by the deep cut and loss of blood.
A rather rough looking man with dark hair walked up to John and asked if he was going to be alright.
He managed to come up with a laugh in response.
"I'll be fine-- the forests back home are filled with mosquitoes. The most trouble I got from 'em was an itch."
However, the team did take his wound seriously, as he did not. An elf maiden walked up to the injured man. John was surprised by the beauty this elf. He had never seen one before, but the tall stature and pointy ears gave it away. She responded to the leader of the team.
"Right, just give me a second," the elf said.
John was surprised for a moment. He was uncomfortable at the notion that this beautiful elf would be bandaging his wound.
Why not someone else? This is going to be rather awkward, I'd wager.
She walked to him.
"Sorry if this hurts," the girl said as she wrapped the bandage around and tightened the knot.
John cringed a little.
Doesn't hurt at all. Just about as bad as when that tiger gave me a scratch on the same shoulder. John remembered that fight very well. Took at least a month and a half for it to heal well enough to draw back his bow. I won't complain about it too much-- at least I got 'im.
John was daydreaming about that tiger when he realized the lass was still talking.
"...stop the bleeding. I doubt there are any medicinal herbs in a place this foul. Perhaps when we get out of this place I'll be able to find you something to help, but you should be fine for now."
John made a half-amused face. He was right; he was feeling awkward already.
"Magical herbs, eh? Never noticed those back home," he coughed for a moment, "but then again, I'm not an elf. I heard you people can do all sorts of magical things. Don't know a thing about that myself, though."
Edited by Ouflah, 03 January 2013 - 01:53 AM.
Oh no, it's Sauron! Act natural!
Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:36 PM
Maybe I should just jump in one of those pits and die…Might make it easier.
He drew a blade and dug its tip into the bark of the tree behind him. Some of the crew were patching up the one who had fallen, John, Jaysen thought. “As soon as he’s able, we should keep moving. Those bugs won’t be gone for long.”
If I'm not the smart guy, who am I?
Posted 04 January 2013 - 07:59 AM
"We should move quickly. This swamp is no place for resting," he said as he tried to help John up, "let me support you until you can walk again on your own."
Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:10 AM
The marsh was beginning to dry out, with greater patches of land growing between vast fields of swamp that slowly shriveled into smaller and smaller ponds and pools. The trees too were looking healthier and more numerous, taking over for the reeds, shrubs, and tall grasses that had been so abundant in the wet areas of the swamp. Their bark was a ripe dark brown, moist and thick, with lush green leaves flourishing in the spring daylight.
The party was admiring the gradually changing scenery when something caught their eyes up ahead: a clearing surrounded by beautiful trees, carpeted with damp green grass, and a massive, bubbling pool of water in the middle of it all, with great clouds of hot steam billowing from the surface. There were a few dead and dying trees mingling among the blooming ones, but not even they could spoil such a serene image. As they watched, the pool grew frothy and white, churning violently as a column of water not taller than a man rose into the air, spraying warm mist all over the clearing.
As the geyser collapsed and fell back to its source, as the clouds of mist began to settle to the earth and the air cleared, the peace was shattered by the sound of Kurtz drawing his blade from its sheath. It didn't take long for the party to follow suit, readying their weapons before a threat was in sight. Kurtz pointed the tip of his sword across the simmering water, at the steam rising off the surface. Through the white veil, they could make out a dark shape, hunched over and hobbling around the edge of the geyser.
Coming into view now, the creature appeared similar to the swamp troll they had killed earlier, but taller, its limbs thicker and more defined, and the crazed look of absolute hunger missing from its gaze. Around its waist it wore a belt of sorts, fashioned from skeletal hands, feet, claws, and other assorted bones strung together on a thick vine. Some of the bones were humanoid, others not. Strangest of all was what appeared to be a very unique sword held in a crude sheath in one of the monster's hands. Kurtz appeared to be straining to get a better look at it, his own blade kept between he and the beast, who halted at a distance from the party.
The troll was eyeing them suspiciously, but not attacking yet. It stood up as tall as possible - at least three heads taller than Kurtz - with its back still slouching forward, and peered down at the travelers with a menacing glare, baring its yellowed teeth. When they expected an attack, or a snarl, they were caught off guard to see the creature moving its mouth and producing words - not human language, but civilized speech unlike that of an ordinary swamp troll. Incomprehensible though it was, it sounded oddly familiar...
"Elvish," Kurtz whispered aloud in a moment of recognition. Without turning his gaze away from the creature, he asked the party, "Does anyone understand the language of the wood elves?"
Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:02 AM
Things changed fairly quickly, however, at the appearance of a geyser and some kind of troll. Kragnar stood still as a statue while the monster spoke in some Elvish tongue that he couldn't comprehend.
After Kurtz turned about to ask if anyone knew the language, Kragnar answered tersely, feeling extremely cautious around such a creature, "Afraid I don't."
How this thing was capable of speaking any language - and how it learned such a tongue - Kragnar didn't want to think about. In his world of black and white, anything as ugly as this was an evil man-eater. He wanted nothing more than to kill this troll and move on, but he was smart enough to keep these thoughts to himself. For now, he remained still, hoping someone else knew how to talk to the thing. The desire to ready his weapons just in case was almost impossible to resist, but Kragnar fought it aside for now. He didn't want to offend this thing if it wasn't looking for a fight.
Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:16 PM
With Kurtz's identification, the sounds suddenly made sense. It had been years since Lynaia had heard anyone speak Vidralfarian, and the troll's mouth formed the sounds a bit differently than an elf's would, but now she recognized the language. "I know some," she said, stepping forward. "Wood elf traders sometimes stopped by the village where I grew up, I picked up some of the language over the years." She then focused her attention on listening to what the troll had to say.
Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:32 PM
Cradoc took a moment and produced a statue of Tyr, and knelt in front of it, praying for wisdom and guidance. He also produced a bit of the ham he had taken for breakfast, and set it next to the statue. He then took out a chunk of clint and steel, and ignited the dried meat. Motioning upwards with his hands, he hoped Tyr would bless him with endurance, strength, and wisdom.
Standing again, he felt renewed strength, and the pain and soreness in his legs from the travel disappeared. "Tyr is smiling upon us", Cradoc muttered to himself.
Thanks to Burngirl for the Sig.
Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:26 AM
Despite the serene surroundings though, it wasn’t long before the party ran into another monster.
Well, monster didn’t seem to be the right word as the troll began to speak a strange but civilized-sounding tongue. Kurtz said it was Elvish, Vidralfarian specifically. While Durnen had traveled a lot during her time with the Iron Gauntlet, she had never come into contact with wood elves, in fact, she found it hard remembering any time she had dealt with elves. Luckily the elf maiden knew a bit of the language, apparently, and appeared to be listening.
It was then that the smell of burning meat reached the dwarf woman’s nose.
“What in the hell…” She muttered, before noticing one of the northmen burning a piece of meat and apparently worshipping… the troll? Her eye finally caught the little statuette he had set before himself, though, and she understood the little ritual. Though why in the names of the gods’ he was doing it right now, in full sight of an armed troll as if he was trying to provoke it only the gods knew.
Helga just hoped that the troll wouldn’t be provoked by the act. They had a chance of bypassing a monster without a fight, and with so many possible encounters ahead, one less beastie to slay would probably help noticeably in retrospect.
Edited by Burger Warrior, 05 January 2013 - 07:28 AM.
Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:02 PM
The troll in question seemed to know an old language, one that Jaysen may have known a word or two of. He was going to volunteer, but their elf beat him to it, and it was just as well. A word or two is hardly fluent, after all.
If I'm not the smart guy, who am I?
Posted 06 January 2013 - 02:19 AM
"...intruders. Zufem'jin should kill you. Let you live instead," the troll drew its blade and held it somewhat crookedly, pointing its tip out towards the marsh from which the party had come, "if you leave."
Kurtz kept a tight grip on his sword, his jaw locked and teeth bared. He was slowly working his way around to the troll's flank, though the beast was fully aware of his presence. When the sword came out he froze, and his gaze lingered on the blade for a moment before he asked, "What's it saying?"
"You go live with other bugs," the troll continued, its concentration unbroken by Kurtz. "You go back to human tribe."
"What's it saying?" Kurtz demanded again, this time more forcefully. The troll turned its attention to him, put off by his outburst. The geyser erupted again, firing a pillar of ivory ten feet into the air. Water drenched the clearing, and a thick shroud of mist settled over the area, reducing visibility so that the treeline could barely be seen. Over the roar of the geyser, the clash of steel blades could be heard, and the shapes of Kurtz and the troll could be glimpsed locked in battle.
But the forest was moving around them. As the party looked around they could see other shadowy figures emerging from the trees - no, the trees were moving. Though not clearly defined in the fog, the shadows moved with the same hunched gait as the other troll, and began closing in on the party, circling them. As they neared, the party saw they were faced with three more swamp trolls, though these wielded nothing but sharp claws and teeth. They were cut off from Kurtz, whose blade continued to flash at the troll chief in a flurry of disciplined strikes, his strained grunting made clearer by the falling of the geyser.
Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:58 PM
Arthur decided to throw his spear at the nearest troll, but at the last second thought different of it. If he threw his weapon, he'd have only his cutlass against the monstrous creatures. He thought he'd keep his spear a while longer. With a grunt, Arthur lunged forward at the nearest creature, hoping more to keep it at bay than to strike it. He measured the creatures lumbering movements, and in a moment of courage, he feinted left and then charged right, hoping his speed would guide his speartip into the monster's leg as he planned.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:43 AM
Karrel laughed curtly. Yet Cradoc's hopes proved in vain as Kurtz engaged the troll. Before the northman could aid his leader, three other trolls encircled the group. His blade-brother riled himself for the fight with some ritual to Tyr. Karrel stirred his blood with a thunderous battle-cry. Trolls were not so fearsome as they once seemed after his axe had removed one's head. This time, with the entire group behind him, it was only a matter of time. The warrior burst from his companions and darted to the side to encircle the troll on the right. He roared again as he swung his longaxe at the monster's neck. The troll would either be forced to turn its back to Karrel's allies or feel a sheet of steel cleave its head.
Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
"To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods."
Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:26 AM
Edited by Bobafettmaniac, 07 January 2013 - 10:27 AM.
Thanks to Burngirl for the Sig.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:39 AM
Backing away from the melee, she began speaking softly, praying in her native elvish for Selene to blind the trolls with a flash of Her divine light.
Edited by Sareth, 07 January 2013 - 10:39 AM.
Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:11 AM
Helga twirled her war hammer expertly in one hand as several trolls emerged from the woods around the party. Kurtz just couldn't wait for the elf maid to translate for him. Nooooo, he had to go charging through a geyser and engage the troll, and prompt another three to pop out of the trees.
Gods above, the northmen weren't doing a thing to dissuade Durnen's low opinion of their kind. Readying her shield, the dwarf woman faced the nearest of the trolls, one that was not being hacked to pieces by northmen. Noticing Kragnar nearby, she called out to him.
"Firebeard, these trolls will find it hard to fight without kneecaps, dontcha think?" She said. Giving her trusty hammer a final twirl and making sure her helmet was still on her head, she charged forward. A human would probably have crossed the distance in a moment or two, but, well, dwarves are dwarves.
At any rate, with her shield raised to block any blows from the troll, she did her best to get under it's reach and at it's legs with her hammer, where she might be able to disable the beast.
Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:38 AM
"Knew these beasties weren't gonna let us go peacefully!" he thought aloud quite loudly. To Kragnar, these creatures were obviously evil, anyway. He figured the moment he saw the first troll that there was going to be a fight.
"Firebeard, these trolls will find it hard to fight without kneecaps, dontcha think?" Helga said just before charging into battle. Kragnar grinned, readying his axe and shield, letting the excitement of his first real battle - besides driving away those bloody terrifying mosquitoes - flow into his veins.
"Aye, that I do!" he answered, following right behind her and aiding her against the troll. He too aimed for its legs, trying to chop away at them with his axe and slow the creature down.
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