“Well done! I think you got the lot. I have never seen anything quite so… devastating. Quite impressive.” The young man’s voice trailed off, he placed his unused arrow into his quiver and turned, smiling warmly to the group.

Stephan spat after breathing in the acrid air left by Miklos’ fireworks. He’d loosed only three arrows before the blinding flashed ended things. “That was quick”, he half muttered to himself. And fully to himself, “Hardly seems fair. A man must fight with blood in sinew…”

Turning to the smoking bodies, “I don’t suppose any of our arrows or Feldard’s bolts are recoverable.” He looked regardless for any that might be used again.

Hasan returned from his combat position, and nodded a wordless acknowledgment of Miklos’s developing skill.

Ozone hung in the air. Purple after images were etched across the mage’s eyelids. Barely contained magical feedback numbed his fingertips. He flexed life back into his hands and grimly surveyed the results of his incantation. He nodded at the acknowledgment of his skills.

“Did someone mention no prisoners?”

“Blimey.” Maruc rubbed his eyes, “Some more warning next time Miklos. Thanks.” The odor of burnt meat hung in the air with a heavy grey mist. “Prisoners? Fetch me a pail and I’ll show you a prison!” The priest was too stunned to smile at his own humour.

The stranger looked quite tired. There were marks on his face where he had been beaten. Still, he was upbeat and full of energy. By his demeanour, it was easy to see that he was quite confident of his abilities. He studied each of the group in turn.

“Master Dwarf, I think now is the time for some introductions. First, allow me to thank you for your timely intervention. My name is Ludo, and what am I doing this far in the forest, well quite obviously I was running away from them,” he said as he pointed over his shoulder at the still smoldering corpses. “Your arrival was most opportune, as I fear the wolves were gaining on me and I was running out of breath. I can assure you that the Goblin’s reputation of hospitality is rather overrated and best avoided.”

“Now, may I inquire as to your purpose for being so deep in this part of the woods? It is unusual to say the least, to see a Elf and Dwarf traveling together in such … harmony”?

The elf grasped the stranger’s offered hand, saying, “That dwarf and I have traveled dark paths together. In the dark, you don’t always see your differences. Not that he would notice them anyway, unless they were dwarf-inlaid with gold.” The elf laughed. “I am Hasan Elyan, Prince of the Radlebb Wood. My companions and I have traveled here to find the goblins you brought to us, so we thank you. Have you been further in this cursed vale? We have come to find their home.”

The priest turned to the newcomer. “Glad we could have been of service, Ludo.” He offered his hand in friendship.

Stephan too rose slowly from his knelt position to greet the newcomer with the briefest of pleasantries mandated by human social custom.

Feldard had been stunned speechless after Miklos’ display of magic. He caught only part of the newcomer’s introduction, and was slow to respond before the elf took it upon himself to greet the man named Ludo.

Feldard snorted at everyone tripping over themselves to greet the stranger. The dwarf noted that the man didn’t truly answer as to why he was in the area. Bah! Humans and elves were way too trusting of others.

He moved off towards the bend in the path, peering from whence the goblins had come, his crossbow still at the ready. Then called back, “It won’t take long for that injured wolf to make it back to the goblin tribe. Let’s get moving.”

Ludo approached the mage. “Miklos may I take it upon myself, to invite myself to join your merry band, as we seem to be going in the same direction before I was taken prisoner by this Goblin tribe. I was heading to the frontier seeking employment with the Duke’s army as a scout. I fear that being this far out without companions, my chances of arriving at my destination will be small. I, of course, will offer my blade and skills to your group for a equal share of any profit. My father’s groundskeeper trained me well in the art of woodland scouting and of identifying traps both of the natural and mechanical type and I do believe my skills could benefit you and your companions”. If you are looking for this Goblin tribe their main camp is not far. A few miles over yonder, however if you would like to approach them unseen you will need my skills and knowledge. How say you?’

Upon hearing Ludo’s offer — very hasty lad! — Stephan maintained a dour face — not difficult with the foul smell still hanging in the air — and looked to see Prince Hasan’s reaction. It was clear the dwarf was skeptical. After all, who was to say this Ludo would not lead them to a trap.



Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

12 responses to “Ludo

  1. Maruc: 10xp+10xp
    Miklos: 10xp+10xp
    Feldard: 10xp+10xp
    Hasan: 10xp+10xp
    Stephan: 10xp+5xp
    Ludo: 10xp+10xp+10xp

    Maruc: 20,115/24000
    Miklos: 20,220/40000
    Feldard: 20,205/34000
    Hasan: 19,385/32000
    Stephan: 19,175/32000
    Ludo: 18,695/20,000

  2. miklosdostevar

    Miklos laughed as he took Ludo’s hand. “I see my leadership qualities are showing through! I am Miklos, Ludo. I feel I may have seen you before somewhere? Perhaps in Specularum? One of those big social functions…ah well.” He was lost in thought a moment. “You wish to join us you say? Well out here few are our friends and many are our enemies. Quite easy to tell apart had not we been aware that Goblins are allying themselves with human brigands. So,” he nodded at the scouting dwarf, “some may require you to earn our trust.”

    Miklos took a long look at the young man in front of him. “Your fathers’ groundsman you say? A local Lord then? Perhaps that’s why I recognise your features. Which house do you belong to?”

  3. Maruc

    Maruc walked all the way over to the Dwarf and spoke quietly. “So quick to judge someone so harshly?”

    He knew this would result in a dwarven sized arguement, so as dwarf rounded on him he held up his hand in suplication. “Perhaps is it wise. Miklos himself suggested that the enemy we face could be a noble. This might be a clever ruse for us to accept him without question. Although it begs the question how did they know we were coming this way, and what they thought our intentions were? Again perhaps that is why he is here, to find out or intentions? I think they were admirably demonstrated by Miklos, eh? And naturally you being here we are unlikely to wish to ally ourselves with them.”

    “Of course, he seems a little young to be the orchestrator of a rebellion, but he might be a trusted son…” he left the thought hanging in the air.

    “However, it is my belief that he is honest, though like you I wouldn’t trust him straight away. Well as honest as Nicolai, Halav rest his soul. He has a certain rakish quality about him don’t you think?”

    “They say ‘keep your foes closer than your friends’, I’m of a mind to accept him and keep an eye on him. No doubt you will too.”

  4. Hasan

    Hasan interjected himself in Ludo’s petition for Miklos’s favor. “Woodland skills, you say? That I’ll be interested to see. I rather doubt it.” The elf shook his head. “No, the first skill you’ll need to show is an understanding of what duty you owe to any group that will have you. Lead on, boy, and I hope you’ll show sterner stuff than I’ve seen so far, or this will be a rather short journey for you. My companions and I undertake rather more than a foxhunt.”

  5. Ludo

    “Miklos, I am not from Specularum, so sadly I do not think we have met before”.

    Upon hearing Hasan’s comments Ludo turns to face Hasan. With a steely look in his eyes he replies “Prince Hasan, my whole life I have been raised to know duty and my obligations to it, I need no lesson of it from you or anyone. As for calling me boy, I have not had the privilege of court and family protecting me like some I have met, but I know how to fight, survive and win – you can count on that”! I also know when to accept assistance when it is offered, so I do not think you have the right to call me ‘boy’.

    “I understand your hesitation in allowing me to travel with you, after all a natural assumption would be that I could in cahoots with the Goblins. I am unsure what I can say to alleviate you of this apprehension except to say, that I believe that you saved my life and for that I am indebted to you”.

    “I do have some information that you may find interesting – your activities have caught the attention of someone of importance, when I was captured by the Wolfskull tribe three days ago, I was interrogated and tortured by a mysterious man who seem to be directing the Goblins and a Hobgoblin, his name was Vlaak, a cruel brute if ever I did meet. I found this relationship strange to say the least. I was questioned about a group of adventures that were travelling within the forest and that this group included an Elf and a Dwarf travelling together as brothers in arms. Simple deduction suggests that you are this group of adventures. I can now see why they are so vexed with your activities. Anyway I deducted that my usefulness was coming to an end, I had no knowledge that was of use to them, and so I had to escape. After killing my guard and recovering my equipment, I escaped from their lair late last night; however this lot you have just met tracked me down. This landscape is unlike anything I have ever seen”.

    “Now that you have heard my story, I will leave it up to you to decide if it is true or not, however know this, if you continue on the trail you are using, you will meet your doom. If you should be ambushed, you will be overwhelmed and killed or worse … captured by Vlakk and the human who interrogated me.

    “After their interrogation of me, I would like nothing better then to run my blade through Vlakk’s gut, so if you think my skills and talents can be of use to you then say so, if not I will find another way to take my revenge”.

  6. Hasan

    “Vlaak, you say? That is indeed a name that interests us.” The elf searched Ludo’s face. “Your pat will be ours as we search together. Lead on.”

    Hasan walked beside Ludo, as the human walked through the petrified wood. The elf’s mind raced, turning over the fact that Ludo had seen a human with the goblins. Hasan didn’t dare reveal that it was that alliance the group cared most about.

  7. Feldard

    Feldards’ nod of agreement to Maruc was short and abrupt.

    With the elf and newcomer taking the lead, Feldard took up the rear guard once again. While he didn’t actually keep his crossbow on the man, Feldard was careful to keep the man within in sight as they traveled onward towards what they hoped would be the goblin village and the answers to many of their questions.

  8. Ludo

    DM – Ludo with Hasan beside him and using whatever cover and concealment is available and travelling off the paths will lead the group to the Goblin lair. As they approach the lair, Ludo whispers to Hasan ” we are getting close, over this small hill lies the Goblin lair. What are your plans”?

  9. miklosdostevar

    Miklos fell into step with Maruc. “Interesting. He did not mention his house. Perhaps he is discraced? He skirted the issue, it is a shame Hasan interjected. Oh well, what do you think?”

  10. Maruc

    The priest shrugged, “I’ll not make any swift judgements about him, but I have faith in Halav. Nicolai was taken from us in an act of selflessness that bordered upon heroic. Neither of us, Miklos, would have believed he’d be capable of that. But I at least have had my eyes opened. Judge not a man but his countenance, but his actions. Perhaps Halav guided him to us in his wisdom. To save him.”

    “And to aid us.” he added.

  11. miklosdostevar

    Miklos noticed the scouts had paused ahead.

    “It seems we have arrived.” he cracked his knuckles. “Let us see what our scouts report.”

  12. Stephan

    [on travel this now and thru next week..posts may be late]

    Stephan listened carefully to Ludo’s words in response to the various questions. Upon hearing his claim of some level of noblity, Stephan examined the new comer’s hands.

    No signet ring. But perhaps he wears it on a chain about his neck. Or perhaps it is pocketed.

    Stephan took a position just after Hasan and tried to be as silent as the elf — an impossible task.

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