Bors To Tears

The reaver thrust his sword across Ludo’s belly. Ludo’s blade hacked down partially parrying the thrust, then swept up to slash the throat of the reaver. The reaver swayed back and the slash missed. Ludo backed away from the reaver in pain, this man was good, and Ludo knew he faced a killer.

“Come here boy, I will cut out your heart and feed it to the wolves.”

Ludo circled the man not rising to the bait. He moved in and began a savage attack on the reaver, three times their blades clashed, the reaver was parried each attack, suddenly Ludo felt a savage blow, which left a intense burning sensation.

Hasan mounted quickly and turned the horse into the woods at a gallop. The animal’s great pace quickly brought the elf within sight of Ludo’s attack of the remaining Ringman. It was a long shot, and especially a horse and in the woods, but the elf drew an arrow and let fly from 200 yards. The arrow whistled past the combatants harmlessly, but the elf had no regrets. Both Ludo and his opponent now knew: help was here.

Ludo was severely wounded, but ignored the pain and fought on, encouraged by the elf’s presence. He was quicker than the armoured reaver, and could see that that the reaver was tiring, blood pooling down his face from the cut that Ludo has inflicted earlier. He took heart and began a blistering attack on the reaver who kept retreating from the cuts and thrusts of Ludo’s attack until he fell backwards having tripped on a tree root, Ludo’s sword thrust forward and slid deep into the neck of the reaver severing the spine. The reaver gasped once and died. Ludo turned around muttering to the corpse “never call me boy”.

Stephan raced on his horse first to where Miklos had neatly ensnared his prey. It took only a second to see that Miklos had things well in hand. Stephan turned the horse, urging it to gallop to where Ludo and now Hasan were engaged with the other reaver.

As he approached, he saw the reaver trip backwards. The rogue seemed to anticipate his opponent’s mishap and moved fluidly with the reaver’s fall — his sword delivering a killing blow.

Stephan brought his horse to an abrupt stop at the scene. “Well,” he said with some humor, “I’m here to save the day. I suppose no one is going to save that fellow’s neck, however.”

While the Stephen and Hasan bolted for horses, the dwarf moved towards the remaining ensnared Iron Ring fighters. One look at them told him all he needed to know. There would be no ‘reasoning’ with the captured brainwashed minions of the Iron Ring. They would provide no information on their higher ups, likely cause they knew nothing of them. He dealt with them quickly and efficiently.

Maruc breathlessly caught up with Ludo as he withdrew his sword from their collapsing Ring leader. “Give me a second.” he gasped as he caught his breath. “Well fought!” Maruc grinned, “Now lets see if we can patch you up.” Maruc administered to the wounded rogue.

Ludo grabbed Maruc’s arm and hauled himself to his feet. “Thank you Maruc for your faith and praise Halav for his healing benevolence.” Picking up his backpack and bow, he grimaced in pain as though his wounds were no longer life threatening, they had not yet been fully healed. He strode with Maruc to where Miklos and Feldard were interrogating the prisoner.

The priest looked at the corpse. His tattoo plain to see. “So Gothar is hiring men from the Iron Ring. He must have some influence with them. Or access to a lot of money….or the promise of a lot of money. In which case, he is playing a dangerous game. Not least with us. Come Nicolai…” grief touched the priests face. “Sorry. Ludo. Let us see what Miklos has uncovered.” He returned to the camp.

Miklos disarmed the entrapped man. He bound his legs and arms and started to drag the trussed man toward the camp. It wasn’t long before the others joined him and they were soon back at their makeshift camp.

Miklos gaze swept the neat row of corpses and back to Feldard. Well if this didn’t get the Reaver’s attention, there was no getting information out of him.

He sat the prisoner facing the line of corpses. No use in messing about. Perhaps he might accidentally confirm Miklos’s fears. They had nothing but conjecture to go on so far.

“You have been hired by Golthar to follow us. Your mission to slay us in our sleep and retrieve something. This would have failed anyway as we do not have that which you seek,” lied Miklos. “For you not to join your friends over there, all I require is a simple nod. Feldard is nothing if not efficient and ruthless.”

The prisoners eyes flicked from Miklos to Feldard to the line of corpses.

Bors was scared. He had to choose between death, here and now, and possibly death with a heaping dose of torture somewhere in the future at the hands of Golthar or one of the others. If he somehow managed to survive this interrogation, he supposed he could probably hide in some other land. The Ring’s reach did not extend far beyond the Duchy. He decided to take his chances.

“Ok, ok. I’ll tell ya everythin’ I know. Me name is Bors. And yeah, I be with The Ring. I be no slaver though. Just a soldier. Like you,” he gestured to Stephan, grunting with pain from his wounds, hoping to garner some sort of empathy. “And Golthar didn’t hire us. He be one of us. Not a Reaver like me, he be one o’ the Masters.”

“What I really want to know you are unlikely to be able to tell me,” Miklos pressed. “What deal has been made between the Sons of Night and the Iron Ring? I very much doubt the Iron Ring would touch the Sons of Night if they knew what they were planning. We know, but do you?”

“Never heard o’ no Sons of Night, but nuthin’ would surprise me ‘bout that freak,” said Bors. “He be tearing up the countryside looking for ancient artifacts and dusty ol’ scrolls. Now he got the whole lot of us lookin’ for some magic map. Sayin’ it be showin’ the way to the ancient riches and dark magicks. He got all the Masters worked up over it now. And he got us followin’ you lot over it.”

“Listen,” he begged, tears welling in his eyes. “I’ll tell ya anything I be knowin’. All I ask is ya let me go after. I won’t be causin’ ya no more trouble. The Ring will be wantin’ my head now, so my days with them be over.”

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Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

9 responses to “Bors To Tears

  1. Ludo: 2hp + 6hp(cure) = 8hp

    12:15, Gromdain, the 26th of Thaumont, 1001AC
    Rainy, cool

    Maruc: 10xp+5xp+40xp
    Miklos: 10xp+5xp+10xp+40xp
    Feldard: 10xp+5xp+40xp
    Hasan: 10xp+10xp+40xp
    Stephan: 10xp+5xp+40xp
    Ludo: 10xp+10xp+40xp

    TOTAL:
    Maruc: 23,705/24000
    Miklos: 23,745/40000
    Feldard: 24,025/34000
    Hasan: 23,235/32000
    Stephan: 23,025/32000
    Ludo: 22,530/40,000

  2. Stephan

    Stephan stood with arms crossed listening to the reaver. His indignation was palpable when Bors compared himself to Stephan.

    “I assure you, laddie, none of the Ring are soldiers like me.” Bors cowered at Stephans ire. He avoided eye contact with Stephan and instead focused on Miklos, whom he hoped to endear.

    “Once of the Ring, always of the Ring. We can’t trust him,” Stephan opined to his mates.

  3. Feldard

    Feldard seemed unmoved by the Reavers pleading. He was ready to finish what he’d begun, once Miklos was done questioning the man. Mind you there was no guarantee that the youthful mage might not fall to the ‘just a fighter’-man’s plea. Humans often didn’t have stomach for such things.

  4. Maruc

    Maruc sighed. “Mercy you seek? I wonder were the tables turned that you would be so generous? You and Gothar persume much of us that is wrong. A Master of the Iron Ring you say? That would explain his influence, but what Miklos says is correct, you are unlikely to know the plans of the Sons of Night. It would not suprise me to learn that the Iron Ring is a front for them. Albeit an unknowing one. Bors, if that is your name, you are a rogue and as such your word cannot be trusted but you don’t have the wit to lie now, for that reason I don’t think you have anything more to say. Stephans’ assessment is right, you are as as a slave to the Ring as the slaves you capture. You and your kin seek to undermine the law of Halav Incarnate. You are an afront to the Lord Stefan on his throne. You excercise slavery on his lands.” Marucs tone was deceptively calm. Too calm.

    “Bors, you chose your path long ago. There is only one ending to such a path. I judge you evil and in retribution for all the lives you and you kin have destroyed your life is forfeit. I give you a greater mercy than you have given others.” The captives eyes widened and his head jerked sideways with a sickening crack. Maruc lowered his flail and turned from the corpse. “Search them for instructions from the Ring. Then burn them. If they have any money we’ll give it to the next village we come across. At least that way they have given something back.”

    Maruc held no pleasure in his actions. He was frustrated that fate had forced his hand to such a deed. Perhaps this was another test? He wondered if he had passed.

    ***

    They mounted up as the coils of greasy smoke from the pyre wound through the tree tops. Stephan said the Ferry was less than a day away. Maruc kicked his heels and rode on.

  5. miklosdostevar

    Miklos pulled in beside Maruc, neither of them were expert horsemen but with Stephan in the lead the horses seemed content to follow.
    “Interesting theory, Maruc. The feared Iron Ring an arm of the Sons of Night? Can you see the likes of Sevastian having anything to do with the Ring?” he asked.
    “He might have when he was alive.” said Maruc.
    “Would the Ring have been in existance for that long?”
    “You heard what Bors said, Gothar is after ‘ancient riches and dark magicks’ its the latter comment that disturbs me.”
    “An ancient civilisation that pray to Jackel-Gods dosen’t fill me with thoughts of purty and light.”
    “Me neither Miklos, but not do be too quick to cast judgement.” Maruc turned his heavy gaze on the Mage. “It is a hard burden.”
    Miklos said nothing. There was nothing to say.

  6. Ludo

    Ludo watch the interrogation of Bors with calm detachment but could sense where the interrogation was going to end – in blood. As Maruc voiced his statement Ludo listened and started to voice his opinion that Bors should be handed over to the Dukes men for trial when he saw Marucs strike Bors striking him down in a savage temper that he had never before come from Maruc.

    Ludo in anger turned to Maruc, “that was excessive and final, is that the way you would treat all rogues? I have to ask, what gives you the right to execute this man for his deeds? This man was our enermy, someone that would kill us without a thought but your actions today bought you down to his level, it made you no better than he. Havlav will judge you on this act, of that I am sure. Remember Maruc every action brings consequences”. With that Ludo got up and went to see to the horses, inwardly he was depressed- a priest had committed an evil act, what salvation was available for anyone if a priest could commit such an act.

  7. Stephan

    Stephan raised his eyebrow at Ludo’s harsh words.

    “Well. A priest preached to by a rogue. Now I’ve seen it all.”

  8. Hasan

    Hasan joined Ludo with the horses, equally sickened by the healer’s action. At the moment, Hasan wanted nothing to do with slavers or Sons of Night. Nothing but a walk with Rahasia.

  9. Maruc

    DM: Maruc’s response to Ludo
    Maruc turned away from Ludo. He didn’t want the young man to have seen this, but this was a harsh world. Lived in by harsh men. Perhaps he was right? What right did he have to meet out justice? All he felt at the time was disgust at an organisation that had to torture their slaves into servitude. Such an organisation was abhorrent, Maruc would not, could not, allow it to go unpunished.
    “Who else then Ludo?” he said at last, softly. “Who else has the authority amongst us to deliver the Dukes Justice? You feel affinity for this misguided soul because you dwell on the outskirts of his world? You think I would treat you the same? I am a Cannon of my order, I have the authority to excommunicate, to judge. Out here in the wilderness the Duke’s power is exercised by men such as I. I have not moved beyond my remit. Yes, this is an evil act. I would rather he had settled like the Sukiskyn had and forged civilsation rather than undermine it. Yes, if we were in a city I would have dragged him to the courts. But we are not. Look around you. Would you allow Golthar to succeed in his plans as we take every man he sends us to Specularum?” Maruc sighed. “Halav will judge me, but I will not give succor to those men who manipulate the weak to evil ends. I am their protector. Would you unman me for that? Would you rather I asked Stefan or Feldard to slay him? It is not my position to place such a moral burden on them so I accept it myself and all that goes with it.”

    “I am not an evil man, even Prince Hasan who has turned his gaze from me would attest to that. I have shocked you by exercising the power of my position in society and for that I am sorry. I am far more saddened that this man chose the path that led him here.”

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