Desperate Struggle

The snarl of the wolf sent a chill down Stephan’s spine. But he kept his wits and keeping his wounded side away from the wolf, he tightened his grip on his sword and raised his shield.

Muttering perhaps loudly enough for Pyotr to hear he said, “Watch the eyes! They’ll clue you in where he’ll strike. And go for the groin!”

Stephan knew that a wolf’s soft underbelly between the back legs were the most sensitive. His full attention was on the wolf and he failed to notice the gob about to leap down on him from a table. But Pyotr noticed and turned to cut the goblin down in mid air.

The dire wolf saw its opening and lunged for Stephan’s brother, locking his jaw at the base of his neck.

Stephan yelled, “No!” and brought his blade heavily down on the stiff hide of the beast. The blow did little good and Pyotr’s legs flailed under the hideous weight and bite.

Stephan dropped his sword and let this shield dangle from his arm. Without really thinking about it, he did was he learned on the ranch when a rabid dog had to be pulled off someone. He grabbed the wolf’s hind legs and with a mighty heave lifted them off the floor.

“Faaaaa!”, he strained under the weight. This was a huge mass of muscle! But the ploy worked. The beast’s fangs loosened, freeing his brother who rolled in agony to his side.

With a guttural snarl, the wolf writhed and twisted, causing Stephan to lose hold. In a flash, the beast was on him but almost equally as fast, he felt the wolf slump. It’s stinking, slimy weight resting on his chest. Lifeless. The wolf breathed a final putrid breath into Stephan’s face causing him to wretch despite the weight on his chest.

Maruc was distracted. Blades and cudgels swung from all directions and it took all is concentration to fend them off. “Blessed Halav is testing me again.” he mumbled as he ducked behind his shield once more. The stench of wolf blood met him and he risked a sideward glance but there was very little he could do as the two goblins he was facing seemed to be too fast for his parries. He tried a trick trusting to Mighty Halav. He swung his shield wide stunning the low swing begun by the left hand goblin. He drove the edge of his shield forward pivoting the goblins punch gripped shield and exposing its flank. Maruc’s flail made a swift wild arc forcing the other goblin to duck. But the blow wasn’t aimed at him. It connected with a rib splintering thud. A second later Maruc was covered with a spray of black blood coughed up by the collapsing goblin. Using the stopping power of the first blow he reversed the swing and wrapped the chain around the leg of the second goblin. Maruc pulled back with all his weight unbalancing the goblin and himself and they both crashed to the floor. A desperate struggle ensued as both grappled for their weapons and their lives.

Miklos gave a satisfied smile as the goblins fell like a house of cards his friends were safe now, he didn’t stay at the window long enough to watch the foolhardy dwarf re-enter the wood. He turned back to the more immediate problem of the fight below. “That’s it my friends! Keep shooting! I’ll be back in a minute.”

He ducked down the spiral staircase back into the stores, hunting around for more flasks of lamp oil. Maruc must have grabbed them all, he thought through his frantic search but eventually he found a couple more and started back up the stairs.

* * * * *

It was impossible to tell how many goblins lay in wait just at the edge of the woods. But the dwarf could hear the telltale whistle of many slings being prepared. Feldard also noted that the screaming had stopped—either she was dead or it had been a ruse all along.

The dwarf looked to his elven companion. Hasan was not faring well. A stone or two would be all it would take to bring the elf down for good. “Make for the tower, I will keep the goblins occupied!” And with that the dwarf charged back into the woods, axe raised making himself the more threatening target. “You currs, pull your blades and face me in battle, if you dare.”

The goblins were on him instantly. His plan was working in so far as the goblins put away their slings in favor of engaging the dwarf. Their short swords stabbed and slashed at the dwarf as he tried to buy the elf what time he could. His axe slaughtered one of the creatures—another instantly took its place.

Hasan had assumed the dwarf was with him and had continued on toward the tower. Slingstones thudded into the grass around him—though not nearly as many stones as he had expected. With his elven speed, he was able to dodge virtually all of them. By the time he noticed Feldard was missing, he was nearly to safety.

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6 Comments

Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

6 responses to “Desperate Struggle

  1. All the goblins that were in the house are now dead or fled. The other goblins are back behind the treeline.

    Pyotr -6hp
    Hasan -2hp
    Feldard -6hp

    Maruc: 10xp
    Miklos: 10xp
    Feldard: 10xp+10xp
    Hasan:
    Stephan: 10xp+10xp+10xp

    TOTAL:
    Maruc: 17,630/24000
    Miklos: 17,705/20000
    Feldard: 17,755/34000
    Hasan: 17,050/32000
    Stephan: 16,585/32000

  2. miklosdostevar

    Juggling the flasks of oil he had grabbed from the stores below Miklos arrived just in time to see the last of he remaining goblins limping out of range of the archers in the tower. “Ahh, it seems I have missed the action! Nevermind, well done.” He placed the flasks in a row by the wall. “Darya, could you keep an eye out to make sure this isn’t some clever fient? I shall prepare a spell directly from my book to aid our friends returning form the sortie.” Miklos dated over to the other arrowslit to asses the situation that Feldard and Hasan were in. he couldn’t see the elf but the dwarven warrior was cursing his battle cries as he fended of the goblins at the treeline. They seemed to have thought better of following him into the open. But that didn’t stop Miklos from crouching behind the arrowslit and prepare the incantation. “Taras, come over here and watch the treeline in case the goblins chase afther Felard. I shall be ready in a couple of minutes.”

  3. Maruc

    The priest picked himself up. The goblin lay in a pool of its own blood staining the floor by the doorway. “Give me a hand Pyotr, we’ll drag these corpses out and re-secure the doorway. Leave it ajar, I expect Hasan and Feldard will be here any moment.”
    Maruc scanned the courtyard from behind the table, now against the doorway and waited for the elf and the dwarf.

    ***

    Hasan appeared round the corner but looked confused. Feldard wasn’t with him. “Where’s Feldard?”

  4. Feldard

    Feldard struggled as he continued to engage the goblins. ‘Surely Hasan must have made the safety of the tower by now’ – but the dwarf dared not risk a glance behind to check. It took all his attention to keep the goblins engaging him from cutting him down. His arms ached with the weight of his axe and his wounds seeped freely with each maneuver.

    There were just too many for him; the dwarf hated to admit it – but the fact was that he’d die by their blades if he didn’t retreat now – and even in retreating his chances were slim. Feldard hoped he’d bought the elf enough time. With a bellow, Feldard swung at the goblin to his left, catching him in the shoulder. Then before another could fill the gap, the dwarf charged through heading back for the clearing.

    Dwarves are not fast runners; dwarves in plate mail… are ridiculously slow – but Feldard pumped his legs with all that he had left in him. His axe remained in hand, just in case. Feldard could hear the whistle of sling stones being launched towards him. It was not an encouraging sound.

  5. Hasan

    To Maruc’s eye Hasan looked to have weathered the escapade beyond the tower walls relatively well. He couldn’t understand the elf’s faltering steps. Then the elf turned round the corner and the cleric hissed. A goblin’s ax had left the elf’s swordarm, his right arm, dangling like wet cloth at his side. Maruc saw the luster of the pendant the elf wore habitually had extinguished, blood drenched and darkened.

    Hasan said, “That was no woman. A trap. Feldard must be helped.”

  6. Stephan

    Stephan heaved the blood-soaked wolf off his chest pushing it to the side. Gathering his wits and trying to expel the stench from his nostrils, he looked for Pyotr.

    “Pyotr! What are you doing, man?”, his elder brother, despite a serious wound at the base of his neck, was assisting Maruc with some heavy lifting. Darya and Irina soon noticed and were at their man’s side in an instant, taking him firmly but gently to a chair.

    Despite tears, Darya spoke with an authoritative resolve. “Come sit here, husband. ‘Twould be worse that you bleed more cleaning up the aftermath.”

    Darya and Irina began to assess the damage and bind the wound.

    “I’ll help with that Maruc,” Stephan said half stumbling after weight of the wolf.

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