Monthly Archives: December 2006

Through the Secret Passage

“Well, I suppose some peoples do derive advantage from living in holes.” Even trying to complement the dwarf, the elf managed to sound insulting. “Would you care for the honour of entering first?”

“It’s better than living amongst trees!” the dwarf retorted. Even before the Elf questioned whether he would care to go first, Feldard was in the process of opening the secret passage and leading the way through.

Nicolai climbs down on the other side of the wall, and listens at the door. Hearing nothing and detecting nothing out of the ordinary, he waited until all the others are with him.

The group gathered in front of the door behind which it seemed their attackers had fled.



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A Secret Door


The battle over, Saeth darted down the alleyway, looking for doors, windows, or any sign of an exit that the crossbows may have taken.

Feldard wiped his axe blade clean. “So where did the cowards get to?” He looked to the Elf who had been the one in the forefront of the chase, and similarly began checking the alleyway for concealed exits and such.

Maruc spent a few moments making sure everyone else is unhurt then knelt down next to the fallen man and closed his sightless eyes. “Halav forgive you for being misguided.”

Miklos snapped his book shut. “Not a chap known for his forethought then?”

“Now as Maruc’s logical leap indicated earlier. Are there any concealed exits here?” With this Miklos joined the demihumans to investigate the scene for secret passageways.

Maruc sighed and stood up and spied Nicolai. “What do you see?”

From atop the roof, Nicolai could see the over the top of the brick wall which stood at the end of the alley. On the other side of the brick wall is a small 20 footlong alleyway. On the left and rear side is a stone wall with a door on the left side. On the right side is the back of a house. There are no windows or entrances into the house.

It did not take long for the dwarf to find a secret door in the wall. Though among his dwarvenkind his knowledge of construction was nothing special, his expertise was far beyond that of his companions.


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Confrontation in the Alley, continued

As soon as the man began moving, Saeth instintively let fly the knife. It grazed the man’s side, lightly wounding him, but doing nothing to slow him down.

Seeing the man galvanized into life Maruc released his flail, side-stepping allowing Feldard room for manouver. The dwarf had glanced away to glower at Maruc at his comment when the when the swordman charged forward. Feldard didn’t waste anymore time on words nor did he wait for the swordman to come to them–no that brought him far to near to the mage and the already injured Nicolai–instead Feldard charged in to meet the newest foe, raising his battle axe in attack.

The cleric’s flail bounced hard off the large thug’s muscular shoulder, and the dwarf’s battle axe drew more blood from the man’s arm, but he kept coming in spite of his wounds. He swung at the cleric, but the sword bounced off the Halavist’s shield with a loud clank.

Squaring her hips, Saeth stepped into the fray, determined to hold him off for a few more seconds as the youth read his spell. As the man made a desperate lunge toward her, she stabbed him with her sword.

Surrounded on all sides and wounded, the large man was no match for the combined forces of the party. After sustaining more wounds, the warrior collapsed and died.

Miklos was nearly finished when he stopped reading his spell. It had been getting hard to concentrate as the battle got nearer to him.

Everyone paused to look around. Where was Nicolai? The rogue peered down at them from a roof after he had silently scaled the wall.


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Confrontation in the Alley

Just standing there? He had the advantage a moment ago. Letting advantages flow away like a leaf down a stream was never a good idea.

“Don’t care to grace us with at least your name, as long as we’re all here?” Saeth didn’t realize that Feldard and Maruc has arrived behind her, but used the construction anyway. As she did, she scanned the area more closely; were there balconies, set up to be an ambush? Low-lying windows, that the crossbows could have escaped through? Was it a fence or a wall behind the man? She kept only half an eye on the swordsman, ready to throw her dagger if he started to move.

Maruc gasped for air as he caught up with the others at the top of the hill. He opened his mouth to engage in light banter when he noticed the man for the first time. Guessing the lack of conversation coming from him as an affliction of some kind he said to Saeth, “Perhaps he is deaf?”

“Did you manage to catch where the men went?” Maruc scanned the dead end, “Well I guess a man guarding a dead end where four men have mysteriously vanished from suggests to me that there is a concealed exit here, whats the name of this lane again?” He looked about for a sign.”I’ll need to remember it when I call the guard.” Maruc beamed his most cynical grin at the silent man.

The man did not reply to any of their comments. He gripped his sword tightly, and menacingly eyed the group.

Miklos laughed at the situation as Feldard arrived. “Fine! Now we are all here this silent man may be innocent, but if he doesn’t lay down his weapon by the time I have read this spell out of my book then we’ll know whose side he is on.”

Miklos flops open his book and starts to read the sleep spell directly. He fully expects not to finish the spell as this action is designed to force the man into combat.

Heavily winded from the run, he eyes the silent man with a glare. “Yer between me and my quarry. Move or face me in battle!” He stalked forward with his battle axe still in hand.

Maruc grabbed the shoulder of the advancing dwarf.

“Err Feldard, I think Miklos is on the case.”Maruc gestured toward the chanting wizard. “I’d step back a moment and see if Miklos can fell him without bloodshed? Unless you want to get in the way of the spell? Its just a thought…” grinned Maruc.

Seeing the mage starting to read from his spellbook, the swordsman in the alley charged forward toward the group, hoping to get to the mage to disrupt his spell.


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Dead End


Saeth came to a sudden stop. A quick glance showed the apparent disappearance of their assailants, but this new swordsman posed a more pressing conundrum. Shifting her dagger to her left hand, she pulled her blade free of its scabbard on her back. “And who might you be?”

As almost ran into Saeth but stopped himself just in time. Then he turned to look at the man who had caught her attention. Glad of the restbit Miklos took a few moments to gulp down some air.

Then he turned to Saeth, “Who is your new friend? He doesn’t seem your sort my dear, all that sword and mysteriously silent too.”

To the armed man he said. “Did you see four frightened scaliwags run this way? You would recognise them by the tattered robes and the smell of sespits as if they had forgotten were the toilet is.”

The man did not respond. He just stood there gripping his massive sword.

Nicolai drew his sword, ready for combat.

Meanwhile, back on the street down the hill, Maruc had dusted himself off. Hmm what an unusual smell. So this is the result of city life? Nice.

I think a nice holiday in the country is well deserved after this, Maruc thought as he pull himself out of the wreck and dusted himself off a bit. He turned to the gapping crowd. “These fish were definitely off.”

Feldard had watched the wild ride with held breath and released it explosively as Maruc disentangled himself from the wrecked apparently not too worse for wear after the ride. “Nice attempt Maruc but it’s time to move on. We’ll lose them if we don’t hurry!” He’ll turn and continue on hoping the others left a bit of a trail for them to follow.

With all the dignity Maruc could muster, he raced back up the hill with Feldard to help his friends.

They found them as they were confronting the large warrior who stood at the end of a dead end alley.


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The Cleric’s Wild Ride

The dwarf was just coming into the marketplace. With the near riot breaking out, he was at a bit of a loss as to where his companions had gone, but eventually he spied Maruc turning into a side street.

The elf, intent on her goal, paid little attention to the damage that the cart would wreck upon the crowd behind. She sidestepped and continued her climb up the now-empty street, nearer now that her prey had lingered by the cart.

Miklos side stepped the cart, there was no way he could stop it and his friends would need him if they cornered the men. He drove his tired legs up the incline.

Maruc was really hot now under all the armour that he was only just getting used to. he was pleased to see that their quarry had stopped to do something behind a cart at the end of the lane up head. He could see that Seath would be on top of them very soon with Nicolai, but without backup. Still he didn’t think the the men would fight until they were cornered. Miklos would make short work of them either way.

Then Maruc saw what they were trying to do. A quick glance down the hill at the packed marketplace he soon realised their intention, indeed these men knew no bounds. Maruc knew he couldn’t halt the cart by himself. It looked far too heavy. So he sped alongside it and grabbing the front corner he pulled to change its direction toward the side of the street and stop it against the wall. The idea being the if the cart tipped with the inertia, it would tip away and not crush him.

There was a grunt behind him as Maruc struggled with the cart. It would have to be up to the dwarf to help the priest. Where was that dwarf anyway?

Feldard rounded the corner in time to see Maruc near to being crushed by a cart. He was too late to do much of anything about it. The cleric had little choice but to pick up his feet, hold onto the cart and hope for the best.

The cart reached the street at full speed, and Maruc was in for a wild ride.  Though the small wagon careened off several people, thankfully, the cleric had slowed it down just enough so that they were able to avoid a direct hit.  Eventually, after careening into several people, it stopped suddenly as it struck a stack of empty crates and launched the cleric into a garbage pile.

Up at the top of the side street, Saeth and Nicolai were followed by Miklos. They kept after the men who were a bit over a block ahead of them. Around another corner they went.

It was a dead end alley. The men were not there, but there was nowhere they could have gone. Standing at the far end of thee alley was a huge, bare-chested man holding a two-handed sword.


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Through the Crowd

The dwarfs own curses joined that of the vendors as he came apon the blocked path. He was tempted to just hack his way through but knew that by the time he did so the villians would be long gone anyways. “Thrice cursed, worthless, piles of troll-dung ..” He grumbled as he halted his chase. “Arggh, by Thunder we’ve been led a merry chase – no doubt, Akarios is being warned we are seeking him at this very moment.”

Saeth leapt, attempting to clear the falling folds of cloth, intent on continuing the chase. They were so close, and surely couldn’t get too far through the marketplace–four hooded, armed men would create quite a commotion bulling their way down the street. Let the dwarf placate the shopkeeper, if he couldn’t handle this little jog.

Passing the shopkeep at speed Maruc called, “Take not Halav’s name in vain for he shall hear you….” Maruc bounded over the fallen tent wishing that he armour would get lighter, he knew he couldn’t keep this up for ever.

“Curses! These men run as if the very spawn of Hades where afer them! Perhaps they are.” Miklos guessed by their action to pull the tent down was an intention to escape rather than fight. He thought that if they where ther to kill them they would not have fled, or maybe they didn’t expect such robust resistance. This was a warning more than anything else, they had sprung the trap with bravery so then next warning will be more dangerous. Still, it was also encouraging they were getting upset with us and upset people make rash decisions. He knew they where close to the truth of the matter, otherwise why waste men on stopping us?

The group weaved through the fallen tentcloth. Saeth lead the way, her nimble body tossing aside the obstruction with relative ease. They lost some time on their quarry, and she struggled to catch up. They can’t stay ahead of an elf for long. Miklos and the others sped on, lengthening their stride to catch up with her.

Nicolai stopped and thought for a moment. “Hmm perhaps going to the docks wasn’t such a good idea. Too many spies around.” He then carried on running after the men.

They turned the corner onto a very busy street. People were fleeing the area where a new riot had broken out. Saeth’s keen eyes were able to find the hooded men among the crowd and so she kept up her pursuit.

It was a struggle to maintain the chase through the crowded thoroughfare. The crossbowmen callously shoved people out of their way. Eventually, they turned against the tide of traffic, and split off away from the mob down a narrow side street.

The street was on a narrow incline, at the top of which was a fishmonger’s cart. The fleeing criminals took advantage of their lead time and stopped at the cart, then pushed it down the incline.

As Saeth and the others came into the side street, the cart was just starting to pick up speed toward them and the crowd behind.


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