Monthly Archives: September 2011

Let’s Go

Ludo stood back in the shadows as he watched the rat-faced man enter the building. He decided to press his luck and slipped down a side alley where all was dark and quiet. He quickly identified some good handholds and climbed up the side of the building towards a second story window. Once he was perched on the window sill he quietly secured his rope to a sturdy drain and coiled it ready for a quick release so if necessary he could swing down to the ground to make an escape. He then listened at the window shutter for any sounds coming from within.

“The docksmen were to keep them out until nightfall!”

“Yes Master. The meddlers were determined to enter.“

“Blast! Quickly, go to their inn and try to pick up their trail. I shall send Sligh to the Town Hall. No doubt our spies can tell us if they are leaving tonight. Jolenta and I will make preparations to follow them. Go!”

Moments later the rat-faced man re-appeared below as he made his way toward Ye Juggling Orc Inne. Another man appeared, no doubt the one named Sligh. A warrior from the looks of him. Dressed in chain mail, he walked with purpose toward Town Hall.

* * * * *

As the companions arrived at the weapons depot, Feldard was watchful for sign of trouble from the guards. He approached the clerk first. “I’m here to pick up the weapons I left here. We’re leaving.” He stated his name and waited almost impatiently for his weapons to be returned.

There was almost a sigh of relief from the dwarf as his battle axe and crossbow was handed back to him. Feldard checked them over for damage then smiled and passed the man a coin for the safe-keeping.

After the others had gathered their weapons, (including Ludo’s if possible – which I doubt but Feldard would try), and were standing some distance from the guards, Feldard looked over to the others and asked quietly, “So what’s the plan now? Do we assume Ludo will catch up? Or leave and sneak back in to try and find him?”

Stephan took in Feldard’s questions as he hung his bow and quiver on his back.

“I say we leave. But we’ll watch from the woods for Ludo to come out of the city.” He looked at Miklos and Maruc, “Unless one of you have some magics that can summon him? Or find him?”

“Let’s go,” said Hasan, after thanking the guard for the return of his bow. “Ludo will find us, as we found him before.” The elf led the party out of Threshold, and into the forest beyond. The air chilled as they stepped under the forest cover. Birds chirped. It was, by any measure, a pleasant afternoon in the wood. Hasan gazed about uneasily.

“North then?” asked Miklos.

“Nay, we go south first,” answered Hasan. And he headed toward the setting sun, which rose south and west before them. “Some diversion will be necessary. No doubt we are seen. But have no fear. We will find a way that cannot be seen soon.” The elf led the group into the forest. He would travel southwest for an hour, and then lead the group northward, to watch the city from the northern outskirts of the forest. Hasan expected they would see the city again at dusk.

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Rat Face

“I think its time we gathered our weapons and left this town. It won’t take long before more guards are summoned.” He looked to each of his companions then frowned. “Dammit all, we’ve lost Ludo. He hasn’t come back from his sneaking about has he?”

“Well, I ain’t waiting around here for him. He’ll catch up on the road, no doubt. Let’s go.” the dwarf urged.

“Da, dwarf. It’s time to go. Let’s get our weapons.” Stephan quickly look around the area.

“Da. Ludo is probably looking at us even now. He can follow.” And with that, Stephan started off in the only direction he knew to be the way back to the gatehouse where their weapons were stored.

Miklos followed hastily. “Off we go,” he assured, in response to an inquisitive look from the sergeant. The hard-eyed man harumphed, but turned his attention back to the still leaping trapdoor at his feet. “Burn this building to its foundation boys,” were the last words the companions heard from the Inn.

As they ascended away from the river docks, Hasan wondered, “Well, we knew it was likely a trap, and a trap it was indeed. How can we hope to escape this town in peace, when we cannot even operate within it safely? We need to come up with a diversion.”

“Indeed, elf prince,” intoned Maruc. “How can we do so? For first we must recover our weapons. And we must find Ludo. Nay, Stefan, I fear our time here must linger, but a public show of leaving may do us good nonetheless. But first things first. Let us get Feldard his axe.” And the cleric, who had a good sense of direction, led the team to the weapons depot.

With relief Ludo had seen his team mates emerge from the old Inn. As the rat faced man disappeared in the crowd he had to make a snap decision – betray his presence and link up with his team mates or follow the rat faced man. With a heavy sigh he decided that the rat-faced man needed investigating. He seemed out of place amongst the other town patrons. Sticking to the shadows, he followed the mysterious man. He would have to catch up with the others later.

Ludo followed along as Rat Face took an indirect route towards the center of Fogor Isle. He arrived at a two-story building and rushed inside through a door on the northern wall.

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Troll Hole

Ludo stopped in his tracks when he noticed the ugly rat faced man. Something was not right. Well this was a right mess he thought to himself, the guards had arrived, Ludo sensed that the rat-faced man was a spy/look out for Golthar. Of Hasan and the others there was no sign. Suddenly Ludo heard the lightning bolt go off from within the Inn, without a doubt his friends were in mortal danger, yet he stayed within the shadows. He was torn – he knew they needed his help yet to go in after the town guards would betray his presence. He had a feeling that he would be better off staying out of sight. He ducked behind some crates within the alley and kept watch, praying that his team mates would be alright. He kept a careful eye on the rat faced man.

“Burn him out, boys!” the elf keened, dancing with delight at the encounter. Maruc jammed the makeshift torch into the troll’s face, and watched as the animal shrank away, cinders falling out of its stringy dark hair. Hasan swiftly summoned his magical arrow, and cast it into the troll’s shoulder, hoping a magical wound would heal a little more slowly than his sword’s.

Miklos turned and faced the guardsmen entering the room. “Over there, now, and quickly boys,” the young mage commanded. “He’s a big one, but you’ll find we have in under control. A close shave, though, it has to be said.”

Feldard was just about to charge forward once more towards the troll with his barstool when the city guards entered. Damn they were fast, but one look at them had him doubting they were really here to help. But that was secondary… there was still the troll to deal with. “It came up from the cellar. Trap it back down there!” Feldard shouted over the bellow of the troll.

Dropping his shield, Stephan side-stepped to the back of the emerging troll.

“Eeeearrrrrrrrrr,” it screeched as Hasan thrust the torch in its face.

Using his free-hand, Stephan attempted to close the trap door on the troll. With his sword arm, he hacked at the monster each time it tried to grasp the floor and pull itself out.

“Fuuuufffffuuuufff,” the troll made a sickening bellow. Feldard was shouting something. Hasan, Maruc and Stephan worked in unison to batter the thing back down the hole. Stephan heaved the heavy door over and it thudded into place, smash-severing three long green fingers off. The phalanges writhed over one another, trying to squeeze down the crack of the trap door to join the main body.

“Morndu!” one of the city guards cursed at the sight.

“Quickly,” Stephan barked at the guards, “come stand on this portal.” Even as he spoke, the door lurched upward. One of the wormy, bleeding fingers flopped back into the hole as the door heaved up. The captain of the guards, who had some of his wits about him, stamped over to lend his weight to the door.

“Smidden, Thool, get over here and put your arses on this door!” The two obeyed. And so too did three others. Soon all the guards were engaged in keeping the door firmly down. Stephan and his mates backed up from the scene. With knowing looks between them, they made a hasty exit from the tattered inn.

As soon as the heroes emerged, the man with the face like a rat scrunched his face in anger and then stealthily turned to slink away.

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Trolling

Ludo moved as to turn away, and then swiftly swung the hilt of his sword into the stevedore’s head, knocking him senseless to the ground. He then quickly searched the unconscious bodies for anything of value and for any clues that might be connected to Golthar. Once that was done, he made his way back through the alley ways towards the Crossed Swords, where he hoped that his teammates were waiting. Ludo was still not sure, was Golthar at the Crossed Swords or was the Crossed Swords a trap? Time would tell.

* * * * *

Precious time flitted away as Feldard dug through this pack only to come to the realization that – dammit- he didn’t own a torch; it was the humans who kept pulling them out of their packs; not he. What need did he have for a torch, with his infravision; except for now to scare off a nocturnal beast.

Maruc, was in a similar predicament as the dwarf, his morning star confiscated. Miklos sensed Maruc’s frantic energy and seeing his friend empty-handed, he made a suggestion. “Trolls don’t care much for fire.”

Maruc flashed his trademark smile, “Right.” While the dwarf did not have a means to create it, the priest did. He quickly began to dig for his flint.

Fleeing, while it sounded right to his fear-addled brain, was no solution. They couldn’t allow the beast access to the streets – too many could be harmed. If only there was a way to re-trap it in the cellar that had held it earlier. Wait. That was it! He headed to the bar area to search for what he needed. Maruc, flint in hand, followed him.

Feldard grabbed up a nearby stool and fool’s idea though it was he charged into the fray. Stool legs held out in front of him like a battering ram, the dwarf ran straight for the troll and the open hole behind it. He bellowed a dwarven battle cry.

Hasan saw the great green-skinned hands reach toward him again, but couldn’t dodge them this time. As they raked across his midsection, the elf swore, “The eyes’ of Ilsundal!” The elf readied himself and swung his sword again, as the dwarf barreled into the room.

In a battle daze, Stephan pressed on hoping the others were making it to safety. From his left, a fast moving came out of nowhere with—what was it??? A barstool!

Luckily, the creature’s fully attention was on the woodsman at that moment. It didn’t see the battering barstool coming and was caught off balance. Stephan kept up his attach with his blade; managing to cut a deep slice through the knee. From the jarring that reverberated up the sword, he could tell that part of the knee cap was pulled up. “Good,” he thought. Should make the thing stumble a bit.

Last, Maruc charged in, hoisting a large broken table-leg that he had fashioned into a makeshift torch. The creature shrieked as the priest rammed the burning wood into its chest.

Meanwhile, Miklos stood outside the door, poised to unleash lightning, but unable to do so without his friends in the bolt’s path. “Make way!” he shouted, rather sheepishly over the din of his companions exertions.

They cleared aside and the mage unleashed the bolt straight through the cellar hole at the troll as it was climbing back up.

Ludo arrived back at the Crossed Swords. A crowd had gathered. He scanned it for signs of the Iron Ring. At the rear of the crowd, trying to blend in, an ugly rat-faced man transfixed his eyes upon the entrance to the decrepit inn as the town guard kicked in the door to the inn.

The guardsmen were about to enter the inn when the giant flash of lightning illuminated the dark interior of the inn. The thunderclap rattled their armor and static electicity bumpened the skin of their flesh. They looked at one another, unsure of what to do. Finally, the sergeant bellowed the order to charge forth, and they reluctantly went inside.

The heroes stood frozen, looking at the smoke-filled hole. A green hand reached out, followed by another, as the wounded troll once again made its way out of the cellar.

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