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Group 22 
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Location: Group 22 RP thread
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Hot on Phalx' heels, Vryala approached the cyclopean abomination just as it devoured its latest would-be assailants. Mercenaries, much like themselves, and she couldn't help but think the three were throwing themselves headlong into a meat grinder. If the others felt the same way, they gave no sign; Phalx looked madder than ever as he delivered the lead attack and K's eyes betrayed naught but the urge to kill. They fanned out, aiming to confuse it, but then Karonath surprised all by taking a rather more direct approach to the problem. V hadn't even registered the Khainite's projectile, but the effects were hard to miss indeed - undoubtedly in terrible pain, the beast thrashed about in blind fury, forcing them all to dive for cover.

Within seconds, it recomposed itself. Still wishing to shed blood in whatever unholy deity's name, it cocked its bloodied head, trying to sniff or hear out the source of its agony. They snuck in; surely Elysian shadow skills would have made it a lot easier, but even without his help all three of those present successfully closed the distance and struck without mercy. V had hoped for an instant kill, aiming to rupture the abomination's lungs or heart; although this was not granted to her, still it had been a devastating hit and she smiled behind her visor as she ripped the blade free and rolled under the beast's desperate return swing.

No time to gloat, because the beast had now pinpointed her position - suddenly the tables were turned, and she found herself very uncomfortable with the range with which its claws presented itself. K made to cripple it, but to no avail; clearly it had decided Vryala's life was to be forfeit, and it was relentless. Then, suddenly, the mutant froze, its head shuddering from rapid impacts. An eyeblink later, V was showered with its brain matter and splinters of bone. Awww MAAAAAAAN, she pouted, realising she had the Shade to thank for bailing her out today. Almost reluctantly, she finished the job.

One beastie down, dozens to go. Next!

_________________
Vryala Naïlo - WS5 / S5 / T5 / D5 / I4

Equipment: bastard sword of Speed, shield of Defence, repeater (20/20), spear, mace, dagger, Armour of Night, SDC, whip, blowpipe (9/12)
Inventory: amulet of Strength, grapple, grenade x0, smoke x11, map, mage hand, sleep oil x8, cure balms x20, Yori's balms x1, winter gear, old kit, lion mask
Mount: Dark Steed (Blanky), barding, talisman of Protection
Gold: 1735
Skills: Defensive Fighting, Anarin Sarath (2), Basic Ride
Class: Warrior


Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:33 am
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Elysian's knowledge of Vikarh and its residents proved invaluable as he hastily lead them onwards to the estate of Blackthorn. Casaythe noted the crest above the gate was similar to one he had seen in Har Ganeth some years ago. But that dragon was black and bound in chains, not red and clutching a spire. He smirked quietly to himself at some old memories, before focussing back on the matter at hand, and what the head of the estate's guard had to say.

The shadowmage introduced him and Caraoc, and Casaythe recognised him from earlier that day. Or was it yesterday? He had no idea, it had all been a runaway saga of near death since he and Caraoc left the tavern. He tipped his glaive in salute, then stayed quiet whilst Caraoc explained his vision.

Sevro had a lot to say. Interestingly, some of it was to do with the undead. Casaythe had heard stories, and this seemed to be another one. He had not been tested against the damned blood-drinkers, nor their thralls. There were a few zombies in Stirland that he had come upon in a raid once, and he recalled how the lumbering horrors would fall once you took their heads off. Avoid their bites though... Come to think of it, being bitten by anything undead was detrimental to one's health.

'Private library, you say?' he asked, taking in all the details. He was glad at least that they wouldn't be entering the crypt. From Sevro's tale, Casaythe wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't as empty as Sevro believed.

His stomach growled as Caraoc asked about getting a meal. 'Aye friend, my belly thinks m'throat's been cut. I don't think there'll be any time for supper yet though.'

Not knowing his way around this part of town, he waited for Elysian to lead them on.

Hanging about, ready to go to the library. Some bread and cheese would go down a treat whilst he's waiting... :P

((OOC: Is it still raining blood?))

~ It was only raining blood over the North Gate where the magical storm arrived over the City and the arcane fulcrum went up, so you all moved out of the rain when you went south. You're not back into it yet, no.

_________________
Casaythe Blackstorm - Warrior (Corsair) - Group 22
Skills: Awareness, Endurance
Equipment: Short Sword, Glaive, Medium Armour, Sea Dragon Cloak, Repeater Crossbow, clip of bolts [11/20], 405 gold, Talisman of Darkness, Tool Kit, 2 months' rations
Stats: WS4, S4, T5, D3, I4

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Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:37 pm
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OOC: Sincere apologies for missing this. life is truly manic at the moment, burning the candles at both ends and all that. So much so that on the morning of the 22nd I over slept and was 2 hours late for work :(

IC: By the smallest of margins, some of the smallest the Shade had faced, the claws past him, tearing his cloak in three neat lines. Then they were past, some of the giants flood falling on the black ragged garment. Then Phalx was rolling and jumping again, the monsters feet shaking the hard ground as it raged in blind fury.

Karonath had thrown a fine dagger, nearly s good as he could have done. The bast was as good as dead. The Druchii were to quiet and quick for it to stand a chance whilst blinded. So The trio, the last members of the old band went to work, swords drawn and bloody. The hacked and slashed, many of their attacks doing little against the stinking brute. How could anyone fall to such unclean forms of madness, even a brutish giant. Better it die, better all this madness die.

They went to their bloody work, scoring a few hits, but this would take to long, and there were may more waiting to die at the trios hands. In an instant, his sword was sheathed, and Deathspitter was ready. Ten bolts, ten perfect shots one after an other. Chipping away and then tearing into the horrors skull. It fell with a great slam, dust billowin everywhere whoosing through the tatters of his cloak. Phalx jumped upon the beast and yelled.

Behold and fear me Cow Men! I am your doom!

To the next fight, more blood and death! For Virkarh!

_________________
Phalx Tr'dasr – WS5 / S4 / T4 / D5 / I4
Equipment: Deathspitter (5/20) 4 of these poisoned (1/2x QD, 3xSD), short sword, dagger, punching dagger (Bloodthirst Rune), shade cloak, full leather armour
Inventory: thieves tools, torches x3, healing balms x5, rope and grapple, Vikarh map, dice, winter gear, orc tusk,
Mount: Dark Steed
Gold: 5829
Skills: Basic Stealth, Precision Fire, Basic Ride, Frenzy, Ambidexterity,Suithenlu Khythan (1): SP2
Class: Shade
Check out, http://thingsfrom1934.com/


Last edited by Dauricha on Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:09 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:43 pm
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Well at least Sevro knew the place but Elysian couldn't say he was overly happy with the answer. Two things he had come to fear, the forces of Chaos and house Tvar. They always had such intricate traps and while Elysian quite enjoyed traps providing he could get out of them he was not sure he relished working things out while being assaulted by a vast horde of Chaos warriors. Since they had not been in that part of the city the army had perhaps already penetrated the vault and vanished, but perhaps not. In either case Elysian felt some kind of obligation to see out this mad little quest. In part he did not know why he bothered; if the warriors of chaos could smash through the walls, the Midnight Guard and all of the other warriors in their way what could they do? They who had already tried to halt them and failed. Better to die for something though, if indeed he had to die. Strangely the thought of running as Shayla had done didn't occur to him; a thief he remained but somehow Elysian just couldn't bring himself to cut and run.

"Food aside we should try to get to this library. If what is in there was worth this invasion it has to be worth a look. I doubt we three alone can do much though and with the others out of reach for now, unless you have some way of contacting them, we could use some help. This area is calm Sevro, what say you lend us some guards? Something tells me that if the northmen are successful the integrity of the tower will be the least of our worries."

Elysian wants some of the guards to come with us to check out the library.

_________________
Moding a group of Druchii.net players is much like directing the musical 'Cats' using actual cats. Frustrating, difficult, chaotic but ultimatley satisfying and a great deal of fun.

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Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:25 pm
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IN THE NORTH

Although Elysian had been shy about his own past, his familiarity with the Rats Nest's dwellers and his all-time inconspicuous attitude hinted a thief's background.
Casaythe and Caraoc, like any other self respecting corsair, would never resist the prospect of a good plundering.
Once he focused on the booty prospective, Caraoc neglected vampires or marauders or whatever.

Caraoc took his two comrades apart. His eyes were shining with lust. He whispered:
"Listen. Some abandoned library once housed part of the fabulous collection accumulated by Vikarh's most gifted family.
Everyone believes that this library is empty, and it is probably no longer defended, as the guards are obviously required elsewhere.
Thanks to my vision, which has proven to reflect some truth, we are the only Druchii to know that a golden artefact of the greatest value is hidden there.
Imagine the reward for finding it before the Chaos warriors!
If we hurry up, the three of us may have time to find the treasure and take it back here.


Being a bard like ever, he pursued with a heady tone.
"We will be on the throne, We'll cast away the jokers,
We're on a treasure hunt, We are the key that fits.
We're marching forward, Looking backward, Hunting for treasure again,
We're marching backward looking forward, Searching for treasure again."


From now on, only the treasure hunt mattered. The practical details were easily dismissed.
"We could eat a snack on our way."

1 thief + 2 corsairs + indications = treasure hunt.

OOC: Howling Bells - Treasure hunt
Lyrics: http://www.lyricsreg.com/lyrics/howling ... sure+hunt/
Soundrtrack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYjLF02cHmI
_________________
Caraoc the scald pilot - WS3 S4 T2 D5 I5 - A saga or it didn't happen!
Equipment: staff, repeater handbow (10/20), Sea Dragon Cloak,
Inventory: "Beastbane" Horn - Mount: - Gold: 100
Skills: Power of Azyr (2), Evasion
Class: Mage (Astromancer)

_________________
Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:05 am
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Dust was still settling on the ground around the toppled monster when Vryala led the way onwards towards the next threat, Karonath chasing after her as Phalx roared at the beast horde before following their lead. Vryala had set a path for the next monster she could see, skirting south around a group of Orcs that were being overwhelmed by a detachment of City Guard that were forming a rearguard a hundred yards behind their line. Further south stood the mighty Chimaera, it's three heads roaring in defiance as one of the reaper bolt throwers resumed it's fire into the battlefield as the warmachines outside were dealt with by the Drach. Between them and the giant monster however was the next target in the line, a bird headed monster with the body of a hunting cat, hovering in the air as it flapped its eagle wings in heavy beats. A scorpion tail lashed underneath it, impaling one unfortunate Druchii who was hunkering down too close even as it turned it's malevolent gaze upon his comrade. The second Druchii was petrified as the Cockatrice turned its gaze upon it, turning to solid stone even as he screamed and tried to cover his eyes. The cowering statue toppled onto its' side.

The trio were still fifty yards from the airborne monster when fleeting shadows started to cross their path, taking the glint of the moon from their armours momentarily and causing them to slow their advance and look up. One of the smaller flocks of harpies had seen them running across the open ground and swept towards them like carrion birds, and were now circling the three mercenaries. As they looked up, the harpies soared across the sky above them looking down, some of them laughing manically as others let out shrill cries or snapped at them with savage mouths. Long claws were extended as the first of the harpies started to dive, swooping down low to sail through the air above the group, a method of intimidation the hunting creatures usually used to separate groups of prey so they could be picked off more easily one by one. Each swooping dive was accompanied by a shrill scream and the whoosh of slashing talons, causing the mercenaries to duck or swipe their blades at the air. There was close to a dozen of the wild things in the flock, and they bombarded the trio one after the other, an unrelenting act of aggression.

Sensing the harpies' intent, having faced and seen them attack several times before, the three Druchii stepped in back to back and refused to allow themselves to be singled out.



***


In the north, Elysian and the Corsairs' stopped outside the estate for several minutes to rest their legs. It had been nearly three hours since they left their comrades in the south, and they had been marching relentlessly almost that entire time. Sevro had ordered one of the guards to bring the three mercenaries out some rations, and while they waited they rested and considered their next move. Going by the Guard Captains' description, the Tvar library lay about half an hour away to the east. If the marauders had already been attacking this location, the opposite position in Vikarhs' north west, there was a good chance the Chaos Warriors had already reached the library and taken what they came for. This did not put Caraoc or Casaythe off the idea of taking a look however, if anything it made the Corsairs' all the more hasty to get moving again despite their aches and hunger. While they quickly scoffed what food was offered, Elysian asked Sevro if he would spare some of his men so that they might accompany the three mercenaries to the library. Despite his good nature to the group, the discipline behind his reply told the Mage he would not change his mind.

"My orders are to defend the estate to the best of my ability, or to die in the attempt. I do not intend to do the latter, you'd all miss me too much, and any guards I relieve of this defence will weaken this road, or these walls, and ultimately weaken my defence of the estate. These marauder groups come rushing down the road every half an hour or so, their numbers steadily increasing. It would be unwise for me to lower my guard. I have faith in you though my sly ally, and you have these two here to back you up."

There was no point trying to argue it, Sevro was Varins' most trusted friend and employee, and had served the highborn for nearly a century before the first members of the group had come along. He had more authority than they did, and was such an imposing figure that none save perhaps Vryala, who the Guard Captain certainly had an affection for, would even consider trying to test his resolve or patience. Elysian tipped his head in thanks and led the Corsairs away, heading east towards the main road and the library beyond. The wide road they moved along was well defended due to the number of main estate entrances that led off it's flanks, meaning every other wall they passed under was currently manned by a regiment of guards with crossbows trained on the road, or in some cases the road itself defended by blocks of guards or the odd muster of knights, their dark steeds snarling and snapping at the three mercenaries as they passed by.

As they approached the main road marking the centre point across the City however, they saw the first active combat since entering the Nobles Quarter. Here a battle still raged in the street, a wide block of the armoured Chaos Northmen having marched down the road accompanied by a large mob of marauders. The defending guards of four separate estates' had joined in the road together to held fend them off, nearly sixty guards meeting the armoured Northmen head on with swords and shields, two dozen more raining down crossbow fire on the flanking marauders. As they watched, ten Druchii knights rode out from an opened gateway on the back of their fine black steeds, and drove a lance charge home into the back of the Chaos regiment. The clash and roar of the small battle was almost deafening in the street, and there was no room at all for the three mercenaries to get around and continue east without risking an axe in the side of the head, even one from a misplaced swing. The fighting stretched from left to right across the street.

The Druchii matched the Northmen in numbers, and the marauders were falling fast to the hail of iron being unleashed from above, but their armoured kin withstood even the lance charge with grim determination. Like iron warriors of death incarnate, they were slaughtering Druchii with every swing.


Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:35 pm
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All manner of possible targets roamed about the ruined District; V's gaze settled upon a mighty Chimaera. Certainly, the elimination of such a beast would aid the City greatly. However, the way was barred by a lesser beast, a Cockatrice. Legends abound which spoke of its deathly gaze, but this was the first time Vryala actually witnessed its effect firsthand. Smaller, then, but no less dangerous than the Chimaera. She was about to call the advance, when a piercing shriek heralded the arrival of those most heinous of scavengers: Harpies.

V well remembered the last time they faced these foes, and by the way the other two mercenaries fell in position it was fresh in their minds aas well. Blast these ******s! she snarled, we can't afford to be pinned down with all this **** around us! Phalx, let's pick out their matriarch, and set an example! Karonath, let Bloodfeather be our shield!

Shoot at random until it becomes apparent which Harpy leads the flock. Then, switch target!

_________________
Vryala Naïlo - WS5 / S5 / T5 / D5 / I4

Equipment: bastard sword of Speed, shield of Defence, repeater (20/20), spear, mace, dagger, Armour of Night, SDC, whip, blowpipe (9/12)
Inventory: amulet of Strength, grapple, grenade x0, smoke x11, map, mage hand, sleep oil x8, cure balms x20, Yori's balms x1, winter gear, old kit, lion mask
Mount: Dark Steed (Blanky), barding, talisman of Protection
Gold: 1735
Skills: Defensive Fighting, Anarin Sarath (2), Basic Ride
Class: Warrior


Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:24 pm
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IN THE NORTH

The trio had been granted a well deserved rest - too short but better than nothing - and the snack which they had been craving after - too frugal but enough to fill their desperate stomachs.

And here there were, the three of them again, travelling across the noble's distict towards their golden quest, Elysian as a guide.

The turmoil of an ongoing skirmish made them slow down and examine the situation.
In front of them, five scores of Northmen were fighting a similar number of Druchii.
Apparently, the naked marauders were not up to the challenge and were falling in droves.
However, large ironclad warriors were much tougher nuts to crack. They would last much longer than Caraoc would like.

The outcome was obvious, the Druchii would prevail. How many would die in the process was no Caraoc's concern.
The real question was how long it would take before the trio could progress further.
Maybe a little push on the appropriate side would fasten up the outcome?

"All this metal? With a storm around? These humans are not prudent, for sure."
As a pilot, Caraoc had seen countless times the lightning striking pieces of metal, ignoring the prevailing wood around. For that reason, Druchii ships were always topped with a few metallic spikes, which would occasionally sacrifice themselves for the ship's sake.
The compact mass of all these armours was too tempting a target for the lightning to pass it up. No real need to target carefully, one side concentrated most of the metal. All it needed was a daring taunt.

"Star light shimmers everywhere - There's a certain something in the air
Can you feel what I feel in me? - It's in the air, electricity oh, oh
Glimmering under northern lights - I can see the shock, that's in their eyes
Like a shooting star in a galaxy - Making its way from the heavenly"


Thunder Bolt.

OOC: All I've found was Kylie Minogue - The One
Lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/kylieminogue/theone.html
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FQhrBOovzQ

_________________
Caraoc the scald pilot - WS3 S4 T2 D5 I5 - A saga or it didn't happen!
Equipment: staff, repeater handbow (10/20), Sea Dragon Cloak,
Inventory: "Beastbane" Horn - Mount: - Gold: 100
Skills: Power of Azyr (2), Evasion
Class: Mage (Astromancer)

_________________
Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:03 pm
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It was maddening that Sevro couldn't see the bigger picture but there was no use arguing. He was a good elf to have by your side in a fracas, steadfast, loyal and strong in the arm but like most solid soldiers he lacked imagination. Elysian knew he would not be turned once he had made up his mind so it looked as though it would be up to him and the corsairs. Just what 'it' was remained confused and it may well have been that they were on a fools errand but he was confident that the tower would not have fallen for the lack of half a dozen guards. In any event chewing on a chicken bone Elysian led the way towards the place Sevro had described. He had not been there before but he knew the landmarks Sevro had mentioned and a good working knowledge of the city and a well honed sense of direction were key weapons in the armoury of any thief who wanted to remain rich and at liberty.

They had not gone too far before they came across a pitched battle, if a small one. Though small as battles went it was still large enough to block the street. By the looks of things the Druchii forces would be enough to win this particular fight given time but the armoured warriors of chaos were clearly going to take a heavy toll. In spite of this obstruction it did give Elysian some reassurance that they were on the right track, that the vision was indeed correct. He just wished he understood it better. Instinctually Elysian began to look around for a new way, their small band could hardly be expected to rout a force of this size after all and producing magic in front of official forces could well prove to be unwise. Just as he was about to suggest making their way through the buildings to the side of the road however he felt a sudden build up of aetheric energy to his left. Glancing round he saw and indeed heard Caroc burst into song once more and knew that clandestine was about to take something of a hit.

"Well in for a penny, in for a circlet," he muttered under his breath; then he began muttering in a very different tone and tongue. The Chaos warriors were the problem but against certain forms of magic their great strength was also a weakness to exploit. He knew his magic was not strong enough to affect many of them but a well placed needle could kill a giant should it be dipped in poison and inserted just so. Elysian began looking for the leader or leaders of the warriors, even the soldiers of the dark gods might falter without their captains and the marauders would surely panic.

Elysian will try and pick out the leader of the warriors. Using Chamon he will then attempt to heat the helmet on his head into a red hot furnace, see how his men react to that pretty picture.

_________________
Moding a group of Druchii.net players is much like directing the musical 'Cats' using actual cats. Frustrating, difficult, chaotic but ultimatley satisfying and a great deal of fun.

Arch Deacon of the RPG forum
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Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:24 am
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Fantastical beasts, hordes of warriors! Phalxs blood was up and he reveled in the mad mad slaughter. Harpies bah! What were Harpies to a warrior such as he, with such comrades at his side He fell in besides Karonath and Vryala. Phalx howled in response to the warrior, ready for a fight.

Phalx will ready Deathspitter again. He intends to use it one handed, using his sword in the other.

OOC: Massively short. I'm massively busy.

_________________
Phalx Tr'dasr – WS5 / S4 / T4 / D5 / I4
Equipment: Deathspitter (5/20) 4 of these poisoned (1/2x QD, 3xSD), short sword, dagger, punching dagger (Bloodthirst Rune), shade cloak, full leather armour
Inventory: thieves tools, torches x3, healing balms x5, rope and grapple, Vikarh map, dice, winter gear, orc tusk,
Mount: Dark Steed
Gold: 5829
Skills: Basic Stealth, Precision Fire, Basic Ride, Frenzy, Ambidexterity,Suithenlu Khythan (1): SP2
Class: Shade
Check out, http://thingsfrom1934.com/


Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:49 pm
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IN THE NORTH

Casaythe was grateful for the rations as they were brought out by Sevro's men. He could offer no support, but he could offer bread, chicken, and some questionable cheese. The corsair had eaten much worse whilst at sea, and quickly scoffed the meal before Elysian led them onwards once more.

The district through which they were passing seemed to be well defended compared to the earlier streets through which they had passed. There was money in this part of town. He licked his lips absently as thoughts of greed filled his mind. Caraoc's mention of treasure had wet his appetite.

But then he was shaken from his thoughts by a small battle. The northmen. Like the ones from earlier, but these had brought friends. Big ones, in tough armour. The street was blocked completely with the invading forces and Druchii defenders, who didn't appear to be faring so well. Casaythe rolled his eyes at the stroke of bad luck.

'Can you do anything to get us to sneak past that lot?' he asked, addressing both of his companions.

Bracing for a scrap, any attempts at stealth so far have not been successful!

((Kylie??! :lol: That's enough to kill anyone!))

_________________
Casaythe Blackstorm - Warrior (Corsair) - Group 22
Skills: Awareness, Endurance
Equipment: Short Sword, Glaive, Medium Armour, Sea Dragon Cloak, Repeater Crossbow, clip of bolts [11/20], 405 gold, Talisman of Darkness, Tool Kit, 2 months' rations
Stats: WS4, S4, T5, D3, I4

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Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:45 pm
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OOC:
Nightcall wrote:
((Kylie??! :lol: That's enough to kill anyone!))
:oops: <feeling bad... sure, I was in a hurry and picked up the first thing I could, but I should have been more cautious...>
:idea: <frantically trying to blame someone else, anyone, quick!>

You know, Caracoc's taste can become uncontrollable at times. On the occasion, I can't help it, he won't listen to me. ;) ;) ;)
:? <hoping that nobody even tried to listen to the whole song - myself I couldn't.>

<Trying to move quickly to another topic>
Er, Hm,
@ Kinslayer, NORTH ready for your next modpost! :D
<Pfff!>

_________________
Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:02 pm
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The harpies howled and shrieked as they came down, one after another after another bombarding Phalx, Vryala and Karonath from above like missiles. As they swept in, all three mercenaries slashed out with their blades, sometimes cutting through claws but otherwise just keeping the creatures' attempts at bay. As Phalx opened up with Deathspitter however, punching bolts through the thin membranes of their bat-like wings, the harpies seemed to realise the Druchii were not going to be separated and easily isolated as intended. Vryala let bolts fly up at the circling fiends as well, as Karonath did the majority of the swiping at those that came down to attack. A moment later, one of the harpies let out a shrill cry, and the formation of the deadly flock changed, all the harpies suddenly spiralling downwards as one, too many targets to shoot and too many claws to fend off at once.

Vryala had found her mark. The harpy that issued the call went down as she sent a stream of iron bolts at it, following it relentlessly even as the flock began to scatter and spiral downwards. Her bolts ripped through wings and shot past bodies, sailing off into the night, one catching a harpy in the gut and causing it to spin wildly in the air, howling in agony as it lost control of it's flight. Phalxs' bolts dropped another two harpies before Vryala hit her target, the bolt that killed the matriarch punching through the wing membrane of another before sailing straight into her chest. It hit the harpy with enough force to flip it over in the air, and it let out another shrill cry as it's wings went limp and it turned over in the air before plummeting like a deadweight towards the ground. The dead harpies hit the floor a moment before the surviving dozen came at the mercenaries, a whirlwind of slashing talons and biting mouths from all directions at once.

Either the death of their strongest had not given the harpies pause, or they were so worked up and the shot so quick that they had yet to notice the departure.



***


In the north, Casaythe turned to his fellow Corsair and the Shadowmancer and asked if they could get around the melee, they had to get to the library and this would only slow them down. Elysian seemed to be thinking similar, but as Caraoc reached into the aether for support the Mage realised it was too late to leave this fight to the guards. He ignored the Corsair and instead drew the wind of Chamon up from the air around him, focusing on the huge, black clad warrior leading the armoured Northmen from the front, hacking and slashing with both an axe and mace. Before his attention could cause the champions' head to boil inside his helmet though, Caraoc used his and all the other helmets of the ironclad warriors as conductors for his own, less subtle and more electrical spell.

In the midst of the Chaos Warriors regiment, the dark sky overhead seemed to open up for the briefest of moments, and with a loud crack! a bolt of gold-white light shot down from the heavens. It split the sky for a moment, and the great black shroud above them roared it's defiance a few moments later, loud enough to cause tremors in the wind at ground level. The bolt struck one of the armoured giants and leaped out, snapping forwards a rank, then another, then wildly jolting back and off to the left. As the energy fizzled out, it split into two smaller forks which darted at the two nearest Northmen, sending sparks flashing across their armour. Those that the bolt had struck fell to their knees, leaving five men dead in the middle of the unit. Druchii and humans alike looked up at the skies momentarily, the Druchii apparently laughing with cruel joy as the magical storm seemed to turn against those who brought it to Vikarh.



The Chaos Warriors at the front didn't know what had hit them, only hearing the thunderous roar but unable to turn and look, too busy stabbing and smashing the Druchii guards they were facing. Those at the back could not flee if they so desired, the Druchii knights still thrusting lances into them as they turned to face that new threat. When their champions' helmet started to steam and glow however, and he faltered in his attack, then they noticed. Leaving his axe buried in a guards' shoulder, he brought his hand up to his horned helm and roared. He continued to swing his mace about in a wide arc before him, and for a moment he seemed to be getting more and more dangerous the more Elysian focused on burning his mind. Even the brutal warrior couldn't keep it up for long however, and he let his mace slip from his grip and clasped his helmet with both hands, his roar turning into a cry of agony as he was lost from sight, sinking to his knees before the wall of Druchii guards.

The Druchii let out another victorious cry as they sprang forwards and hacked the regiments' champion apart, and the whole unit seemed to recoil from the sudden surge of the guards. Around the flanks of the main clash, the last of the marauders seemed to take this as a bad omen, and they hastily tried to fall back towards the main road. The Druchii sharpshooters on the walls above picked them off, and as the Druchii guards poured around the flank of the Chaos Warriors a way past the fight presented itself to the mercenaries for the first time. There were still over two dozen of the armoured Northmen, but the knights were cutting through them quickly now and the defenders had just gained the advantage of position and, the by the looks of it, they now had the greater numbers too.

Casaythe was already leading Elysian and Caraoc into the gap, either to join the flanking of the Chaos Warriors or to get past them and leave them to their fate. The Druchii would likely never know who had helped save them and their estates.


Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:53 pm
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Elysian had been successful in taking out the leader, or at least a champion, of the warrior force. Caroc it seemed had been more successful yet and had succeeded in blowing a gaping hole in their ranks. Despite his misgivings about such ostentatious displays of power Elysian had to admit he was impressed, not necessarily aloud of course. The two magical attacks appeared to have turned the tide of battle and though the chaos force had nowhere to flee it was buckling. Already the glaive wielding corsair was running forward, presumably to burrow a path through the throng. Certainly they had nothing to gain by becoming embroiled in this fight more than they already had. As waiting until everything was quiet would take far too long Elysian hesitated only a moment before dashing after him. Neither his handbow nor magic would be particularly helpful in this particular situation. Taking a firm grip on his staff Elysian prepared to defend himself and got into the larger elf's slipstream
"Let's get through this quickly, no heroics," he said, trying to get the attention of the headstrong pair. He had faced daemons and vampires, sorceresses and rat ogres but the axe of some faceless human would kill just as dead as any of those greater foes.

Into the fray. Just get through the mess, no fighting that can be avoided.

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Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:30 pm
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Thankful for the dull firing drills she was subjected to during her upbringing, Vryala watched the Harpy leader spiral away uncontrollably, off to die a slow and painful death. However, contrary to what one would expect, its demise did not deter its underlings. All three mercenaries were now forced to fend off the flock at close quarters - not a pretty proposition considering their numerical inferiority - and V would have none of it. By Khaine's mercy, these ******s don't know what's good for them. Bail on my count! 3... 2... 1...

Unwilling to continue the fight, Vryala drops a smoke bomb to end it all in confusion. We have bigger fish to fry!

_________________
Vryala Naïlo - WS5 / S5 / T5 / D5 / I4

Equipment: bastard sword of Speed, shield of Defence, repeater (20/20), spear, mace, dagger, Armour of Night, SDC, whip, blowpipe (9/12)
Inventory: amulet of Strength, grapple, grenade x0, smoke x11, map, mage hand, sleep oil x8, cure balms x20, Yori's balms x1, winter gear, old kit, lion mask
Mount: Dark Steed (Blanky), barding, talisman of Protection
Gold: 1735
Skills: Defensive Fighting, Anarin Sarath (2), Basic Ride
Class: Warrior


Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:01 am
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IN THE NORTH

Caraoc the bard cheered the sudden gale, which was transforming the street into a Kylie'ng field.
"Humidity is rising - Barometer's getting low - According to our sources - The street's the place to go
Cause' tonight for the first time - Just about half past ten - For the first time in history - It's gonna lit armoured men
-- It's killing men - Only humans - It's killing men - All men
They fought Dark Elves - Rough and tough and strong and mean - God bless Mother Hekarti - She's a mighty goddess too
She took over Heavens - And she did what she had to do - I feel stormy weather moving in - About to begin
Hear the thunder - Won't you loose your head? - Rip off the place and stay in grave - (Rip off the place and die)
-- It's killing men - Only humans - It's killing men - All men"


That was Heaven's power at its best, blasting off large areas. Hee haw!
Meanwhile, Caraoc noticed a different flavour of arcane wind, focusing very accurately towards a single human, and even more precisely on his head.
That was much more subtle that anything he could conceive. Definitively Elysian's work. How could he control his magic so well? He might teach Caraoc a lesson or two.

The show had been fun to watch, with bright illuminations, victim's suffering and anguish, loud sound effects, splashing red colours and the darkest hopeless despair.
But all good things have to come to an end. Caraoc ceased his rythmic giggle and becalmed progressively.
"Remember never to wear metal again during a storm." concluded Caraoc with a mocking tone.

-=-=-

"Let's get through this quickly, no heroics," urged Elysian.
With a smile in face and his handbow in hand, Caraoc followed.
In the confusion and exitement of the final kill, the victors would probably not notice fellow Druchii joining late the fight.
All they need to do was to look as innocuous as possible.
That was not Caraoc's greatest ability, but he tried his best to mimick Elisyan.

Following closely Elysian - NOT singing anymore.

OOC: Thanks Drainial for a much greater inspiration: It's raining men. :D
Original video with Weather Girls (courtesy of Drainial): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGLZqDXau98
Lyrics Geri Halliwell- It's Raining Men : http://www.paroles2chansons.com/paroles ... g-men.html
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVWKEHOgI2I
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Caraoc the scald pilot - WS3 S4 T2 D5 I5 - A saga or it didn't happen!
Equipment: staff, repeater handbow (10/20), Sea Dragon Cloak,
Inventory: "Beastbane" Horn - Mount: - Gold: 100
Skills: Power of Azyr (2), Evasion
Class: Mage (Astromancer)

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Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:41 am
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IN THE NORTH

Casaythe watched as a bolt of lightning blasted down from the heavens before leaping among the ranks. Humans jolted and fell, and then interestingly, their champion seemed to be suffering some terrible agony. He fell to his knees before being ripped to pieces by the Druchii forces.

'I bet they didn't expect that.' Casaythe grinned, as the three of them made their way through the gap. "Good job we're not in the entertainment district..." he thought, as he heard the tune to Caraoc's song. "They might get the wrong idea."

Jogging on.

((Caraoc, I can't believe you used it!))

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Casaythe Blackstorm - Warrior (Corsair) - Group 22
Skills: Awareness, Endurance
Equipment: Short Sword, Glaive, Medium Armour, Sea Dragon Cloak, Repeater Crossbow, clip of bolts [11/20], 405 gold, Talisman of Darkness, Tool Kit, 2 months' rations
Stats: WS4, S4, T5, D3, I4

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Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:24 pm
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In the east, the harpies shrieked and slashed at the mercenaries, surrounding them in a flurry of claws. Stabbing wildly, Vryala decided to opt out of their current situation, knowing that now they had lost the advantage. She hurled a smoke bomb at her feet, and shouted out to her two comrades as she ran off to her left. The harpies were shocked into submission, and losing sight of their prey for a few moments they beat their leathery wings and rose up above the smoke in disarray. Karonath and Phalx followed Vryala out of the smoke with no major injuries, and were glad to see the harpies milling about in the air over the smoke seem to notice that their strongest member was no longer in their midst. They howled like tormented souls as they gave their efforts up and rose back into the air to cross the battlefield in search of easier prey. V, K and Phalx were left unengaged once more, the sudden attack over as quickly as it had begun.

A horn blast to the east grabbed their attention, and they looked over to the breach to see the City Guard signalling the victorious return of their dread lord. The Drach of Vikarh swept back into his City through the gaping hole in the wall, the monstrous creature he rode upon still clutching the mangled remains of the last Orc warmachine. As the Drach reared up atop his mighty mount, the dragon roared a thunderous blast and hurled the broken contraption into the midst of the beastmen horde. More horn blasts sounded along the wall, and dozens of surviving reaper bolt throwers turned inwards once more, many spraying bolts into the thick ranks of the beasts, unable to miss with such numerous targets presented to them. Others kept firing at the larger individual monsters. Only the trio of wild manticores in the northern reaches of the battle seemed to be free of their attentions, still halting the constant flow of what was supposed to be reinforcements from the north.

As they looked back at the Chimaera, they saw a six foot long bolt of black iron punch straight through the beasts chest, as two others bounced off the ground nearby and span through the air. The monster roared in pain and defiance as the bolt punched through it's heart, all three heads screaming as one. The creature did not fall for several long moments, still tearing into the nearby defenders in a mad rage, and it took a further two hits from the reaper warmachines to finally bring it to it's knees. Even then, it continued to howl and snap at any who were foolish enough to try and get in close and finish it off. The mercenaries watched for a moment, before the impact of the Drach and his dragon hitting the back of the beastmen horde caught their attention once more. Beastmen screamed as a cloud of noxious fumes washed over them and ate away their flesh and fur, and others were sailing through the air as the dragon tore into them with tooth and claw. For all the damage he was doing however, there were thousands more beastmen in the horde.

The most immediate threat remaining for the trio was the Cockatrice, too small to gain the attention of the reapers but too deadly for any of the other small warbands to deal with in combat. Already another Druchii had been petrified in the attempt.



***


In the north, Elysian overtook Casaythe as he called out to make sure the Corsair knew they needed to go through the combat and not join it, Caraoc close on their heels. There was no time or energy for any more magic, and they could do without the heroics of helping win this fight. On the one hand, these Druchii guards were there allies in this dark hour, but one any other day those who worked for other houses were as enemies to Blackthorn, and the trio owed them nothing. Elysian spotted an opening as the Druchii closed in around the Chaos Warriors, starting to win back the advantage of numbers as the surprised Northmen struggled to recover from the shock of losing their champion and taking a lightning bolt from the storm that was supposed to be their ally. The Shadowmancer ran between the wall and the advancing guards, almost slipping past unseen save for the Corsairs he had behind him.

They made it past the regiment of Northmen with ease, the armoured warriors pinned in against the wall on the other side of the road, but as they drew level with the rearguard of Druchii knights they caught up with the last of the fleeing marauders. Fleet of foot as they were, the three mercenaries outran the first few marauders, not looking to run them down but to simply get past them. Sharpshooters on the walls continued to bring the marauders down, one reaching up and ploughing to the ground on his face as a bolt caught him between the shoulder blades just as Casaythe drew level with him. The Corsair didn't stop to watch the man roll on the ground and die, too busy thinking what would happen if the Druchii on the walls mistook them for enemies and aimed a bolt their way as well. Caraoc was a few steps behind him, and Casaythe couldn't help but notice that the Astronomer was not singing for once. He wondered if perhaps he too was afraid of getting shot if he drew unnecessary attention to himself.

Nearing the end of the killing field, the trio were now sprinting at the five lucky marauders that had escaped the bolts of the guards and had reformed just out of range in the road. They were within spitting distance of the crossing at the great north road now, and the left turn ahead would lead them to the North Gate. Their destination lay beyond, a little way further to the east, the abandoned library of House Tvar. The marauders had only just turned to face them, perhaps to wait and watch in case others of their foul kind made it through the hail of fire, but they were the only ones. Behind Elysian, Casaythe and Caraoc were only dead and dying bodies, and the surrounded Chaos Warriors now being systematically hacked down by the Druchii ground forces. The mercenaries realised that perhaps the guards on the walls only hadn't fired at them because it looked like they were pursuing the marauders, and that in a way, they had accidentally charged them.

Elysian was still in front, but he had time to slow down and let Casaythe overtake him if he so wished. Caraoc was close behind his fellow Corsair, still recovering from the lightning bolt spell, unable to grasp the Wind of Azyr again so soon.

Vryala, -1 smoke bomb


Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:45 pm
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IN THE NORTH

Now that the street had been unclogged, the trio could resume their treasure hunt.
They passed quickly the scene of the ending battle.
This time, they would not compete for the paltry booty, all the more that their participation into the battle was not known to have been significant.
Moreover, they had other rewards in mind.

At the end of the street, out of range of the guards who were butchering the last Chaos men, was waiting a small gang of five marauders.
They had just escaped the combat. They could be considered probably the assaliant's only survivors, pending the end of the tally-ho behind the trio.

Strangely, instead of keeping running to hell or wherever they belonged, they had foolishly decided to stop there and rally. So much for their survivor's status, soon to be endangered.
They seemed not in too fighty a mood, having lost their frenzy along with their comrades.
But they were on the way. The five of them. When the trio had only one fighter among them.

Caraoc couldn't let Casaythe face alone five humans, even in a beaten mood as those were.
He decided to even up the odds (OOC: can you say that? Well, you know what I mean).
Letting Casaythe in the middle and Elysian on the left, he positioned himself just behind his friend on the right side.

He aimed at them with his trusted handbow and said "Booh!".
The humans wore hardly any armour, they were easy a game. Would they understand that and flee again, Caraoc would gladly let them go and come back another day.

RHB.

_________________
Caraoc the scald pilot - WS3 S4 T2 D5 I5 - A saga or it didn't happen!
Equipment: staff, repeater handbow (10/20), Sea Dragon Cloak,
Inventory: "Beastbane" Horn - Mount: - Gold: 100
Skills: Power of Azyr (2), Evasion
Class: Mage (Astromancer)

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Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:34 am
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The battle with the Harpies was soon over. A few mere cuts and bruises, nothing more, covered the Shade. Phalx spat and cursed. Smoke billowed about, and the last few of the winged horrors flew away.

A great horror, the Drach and his winged companion flew over the walls again, and the wilds Shades heart was filled with terror, awe, and pride at the sight. The Orcs crude contraptions had been dealt with, now the Druchii's own machines were turning inwards, great bolts flying forth. a great Chimrea was pierce, two further bolts twirling past just missing. Phalx watched the mighty hunter fall, slain by the cunning deadliness of the dark elves.

Another beast caught his eye however, though he never fully looked at it, fearing its cruel sight. The Cockatrice a deadly beast a fowl spawn of chaos! What a beast, worthy of the Shade and his bloodied companions. How best to tackle that which he could not stare at however. By standing where it couldn't see him. I'm going to sneak up on feather brains. Keep it focused on something else.

Phalx hopes to skirt around the Cockatrice, using any buildings, corpses, rubble as cover. Once behind it, he hopes to get high enough to jump on the things back,keeping his eyes closed as he stabs away.

_________________
Phalx Tr'dasr – WS5 / S4 / T4 / D5 / I4
Equipment: Deathspitter (5/20) 4 of these poisoned (1/2x QD, 3xSD), short sword, dagger, punching dagger (Bloodthirst Rune), shade cloak, full leather armour
Inventory: thieves tools, torches x3, healing balms x5, rope and grapple, Vikarh map, dice, winter gear, orc tusk,
Mount: Dark Steed
Gold: 5829
Skills: Basic Stealth, Precision Fire, Basic Ride, Frenzy, Ambidexterity,Suithenlu Khythan (1): SP2
Class: Shade
Check out, http://thingsfrom1934.com/


Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:19 pm
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IN THE NORTH (OOC: Fine I will bow to the conventions :) )

Through without incident it seemed, or very nearly. Five humans still blocked their way. Five was better than dozens but even so they would have to be dealt with. He was too tired for another burst of magic so soon. Besides he would have to save his strength for whatever was going to happen at the library, knowing house Tvar there would be something even if the chaos hadn't reached it yet, which they probably had. Best case scenario the chaos warriors had arrived, tripped some booby trap and had all been killed leaving the way clear, somehow Elysian didn't think they would get that lucky.

Five barbarians would usually have been no problem for the mercenaries but all of their best warriors were absent, dead or missing. Even without magic though the dark elves had tricks up their sleeves. Caroc slid to a halt beside him aiming his handbow at the group, Elysian couldn't fault this as a plan and took out his own. Sometimes the best things really did come in small packages.

Adding to the handbow volley. A full clip into their midst (trying not to hit the probably charging Casathyle.

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Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:34 pm
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Smoke enveloped the trio, and the assailing Harpies were thrown into disarray. Now realizing their leader's passing and unable to locate their prey, the flock dispersed, leaving the mercenaries free to advance on the Chimaera as originally intended. It was then that the Drach burst back into the City, his Wyrm mount issuing a wordless challenge to any beast foolhardy enough to square off with it. Reapers were turned onto the horde inside the walls of Vikarh, the Chimaera suffering the worst of it. So denied their target, the group was left to fight the Cockatrice.

V smiled, palming another smoke bomb. She didn't reckon K would be able to repeat her earlier stunt with the Cygor, seeing as this bird-mutant had two eyes, but she would cover as well she could.

Vryala hurls a smoke bomb at the Cockatrice's feet, then riddles the cloud with black-fletched death.

_________________
Vryala Naïlo - WS5 / S5 / T5 / D5 / I4

Equipment: bastard sword of Speed, shield of Defence, repeater (20/20), spear, mace, dagger, Armour of Night, SDC, whip, blowpipe (9/12)
Inventory: amulet of Strength, grapple, grenade x0, smoke x11, map, mage hand, sleep oil x8, cure balms x20, Yori's balms x1, winter gear, old kit, lion mask
Mount: Dark Steed (Blanky), barding, talisman of Protection
Gold: 1735
Skills: Defensive Fighting, Anarin Sarath (2), Basic Ride
Class: Warrior


Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:38 pm
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Smoke went up, and the Harpies with it. Where had she seen harpies last? Ah, road to Ghrond, both ways. Also the last time she had heard of trouble with men. Thousands of them up north too it seemed, and probably the the vision the magic men had gone chasing had some truth to it. But so did this here three-headed beastie. And the Drach, and his Dragon, and also every bolt thrower in the East of Vikarh.

Ok so never mind about the three headed beastie. It was smaller, and so, K supposed, less dangerous, though it did have a nasty looking beak for sure. It seemed to be able to fly, but either it didn't want to, or wasn't very good at it. It moved pretty clumsily, sort of wobbling on it's tail, and dragging itself about by whipping it's wings. K moved in to kill, and she could positively feel her comrades falling in with her as she went.

There was another guy fighting it all alone up ahead. K watched as it whipped around. Suddenly they guy stopped stock still, like he had turned into a statue. Then she realised he had in fact turned into a statue - a living elf now a block of stone - and nearly tripped over her feet. The thing had only looked at him.

She slowed her charge to a trot. a smoke bomb came sailing over her shoulder. She knew just whose hand had sent that flying. As soon as that burst, she thought, she would charge the thing.

When the smoke bomb goes off, charge in there, aim for the head.

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Karonath - WS6 / S4 / T4 / D5 / I3
Equipment: Bloodfeather, heavy armour, helm, Sea Dragon Cloak, rope x 2, month rations x 2
Inventory: longspear, 2 short swords, glaive, winter gear, shade cloak,
Mount: Dark Steed (Shiny), talisman of kurnous
Gold: 2294
Skills: Ambidexterity, Controlled Frenzy, Basic Ride, Drukh Kaganth
Class: Khainite


Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:15 am
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IN THE NORTH

They broke through the gap. "No heroics" He was rather fond of staying alive and had no intentions of doing anything stupid. Out of the gap, he hoped that they would soon be at this library. It seemed that the five Northmen had other ideas. 'Khaine's teeth, not more of the buggers...' he sighed, rolling his eyes.

'You two got anything more up your sleeves?'

Whilst he awaited an answer, he considered the situation. The Druchii back the way the came had only seemed to help as they assumed Casaythe and his companions were fighting on their side. That could be turned to their advantage perhaps.

'You know, maybe we could lure these oafs back to the main fight. That might improve our chances.'

He held his glaive out defensively as he carefully watched the enemy, waiting to see who might attack first. 'So... who wants to be bait?'

Doesn't know whether his magical comrades can or cannot use the winds at the moment, but is considering luring the marauders back to the Druchii so they can fill them full of bolts. If he is attacked, he will fight defensively, countering with the shaft of his glaive and sweeping back with low attacks. Will use the length of the great weapon to his advantage if he can.

_________________
Casaythe Blackstorm - Warrior (Corsair) - Group 22
Skills: Awareness, Endurance
Equipment: Short Sword, Glaive, Medium Armour, Sea Dragon Cloak, Repeater Crossbow, clip of bolts [11/20], 405 gold, Talisman of Darkness, Tool Kit, 2 months' rations
Stats: WS4, S4, T5, D3, I4

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Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:35 pm
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In the north, the mercenaries got past the skirmish unscathed only to catch up with the survivors that had fled through the crossbow killing zone. There were five of the big marauders, and both Elysian and Caraoc had worn their arcane abilities thin already, they couldn't afford to waste their precious energy on the marauders in case they needed them for what lay beyond. The two Mages slowed in their advance to allow Casaythe to come forth between them, but the Corsair too was running out of strength and didn't fancy his chances against all five opponents. He planned to try and lure them back into crossbow range, and fend them off defensively until he could. Fortunately Elysian and Caraoc had also decided the best way to kill the bare chested Northmen was with bolts however, and both had already raised their handbows.

The barbarians howled, not willing to run back into firing range of the walls now that the frenzy had been lifted from their heads and they saw the danger with clearer eyes. As the Mages opened fire though, they had no choice but to stand and get shot, turn and run and get shot in the back, or run forwards against the second hail of bolts. They had been lucky to get through the first time, and it seemed whatever luck their dark Gods had granted them had finally run out. Elysian shot the first several times in the chest and neck, before the other four realised their predicament and started towards the trio. Casaythe lifted his glaive to a defensive horizontal position, anticipating the oncoming attacks. Caraoc shot down the next, filling the marauder on the far right with bolts until he fell to the floor a few steps short of them. The other three hurled themselves at the Druchii, coming back into range of the walls but so close to the trio that the guards' could not fire.



Casaythe blocked an overhead axe swing, before stabbing out with his long weapon to the side to stop another marauder in his tracks before he ran into Caraoc with his flail spinning. To avoid being impaled, the marauder cut short his momentum, and his heavy weapon thumped into the ground instead of into Druchii flesh. Before he could drag the three spiked heads from the gravel with a yank of the chains, Caraoc peppered him with bolts point blank, finishing off his clip but finishing off his opponent at the same time. Beside them, Casaythe traded another blow with the marauder in the middle of the three, his glaive locking with the axe instead of finding flesh. On the right, Elysian had to duck and weave around the heavy sweep of the last marauders' maul, firing two bolts into the humans' exposed chest before his handbow also clicked empty.

The man however was still alive and snarled a savage challenge, blood oozing from the two black bolts protruding from his muscular breast. Elysian moved quickly to block the next hit, but despite his speed the marauder had the advantage of size and strength, and the uppercut of his maul took the Mage on the chest and chin and ripped him from his feet. Casaythe, still locking weapons with the other marauder, looked down sideways as he saw Elysian fall and instantly regretted the distraction. The marauder lashed out with a bulky knee, his muscular thigh driving it into the side of his own and crippling his leg even through the armour. The Corsair was knocked down and the axe came up, ready to swing again in a way Casaythe could not avoid it. Caraoc stepped in, having not had the chance to reload he was only armed with his staff, and despite a good effort the marauder batted him aside with the flat of his axe, his comrade looming over Elysian with the maul coming up for a killing blow...

Suddenly both marauders hit the ground, dead. A moment later, the three mercenaries registered the sound of the crossbowmen on the walls firing. All three Druchii going down had given them the room to fire.



***


The Cockatrice fluttered and turned on the spot, barely keeping itself afloat with it's constantly beating wings, it's stinger tail dragging along the rocks of the ruined City beneath it. It was instinctively looking at the dragon that had just issued the mighty roar, a threat no beast of the wild could ignore. The monster was too far from the main battle for it's deadly gaze to have any effect, but the group had to wonder what would happen if the smaller bird headed monster looked the mighty dragon in the eye. Whatever the case, this distraction meant they could approach it almost unseen and they knew well enough not to look at it themselves. Karonath slowed her charge as she realised, and Vryala had stopped to hurl a smoke bomb to blind the creature, and more importantly, to blind them from it. Karonath went straight into the smoke as it erupted, Bloodfeathers' edge gleaming in the moonlight as she disappeared. Phalx went after her, but moved around the smoke in the direction of a section of fallen wall, intending to gain a vantage point for when the smoke cleared.

As she lost sight of her Khainite companion Vryala stopped firing, but she had loosed enough bolts in her quick blast to puncture the smoke cloud enough times to fell a similar opponent, she just didn't know if she had hit or how well the Cockatrice could absorb crossbow bolts without falling down dead. For all she knew her bolts had turned to stone and pattered off the monsters' feathered sides as harmlessly as pebbles. She lowered her crossbow, there was no time to reload with her friends' already in combat, so she charged after them, her gaze lowered to the ground as she stormed in. Karonath had already gone through the smoke, her Draich parting the air where she had seen the Cockatrice hovering a moment before. She came out the other side, her blades' edge still gleaming silver, not touched by blood. Instinctively, the Khainite hopped aside, just as the scorpion tail of the monster lashed out from the smoke after her, it's giant stinger dripping with deadly venom.



Karonath span on the spot and darted back into the smoke, looking down and lashing out again with her Draich. The blade was so keen that it parted the smoke, causing wisps of the thick grey air smog to part and give her a momentary glimpse of the space her blade had just passed through. There was nothing there. Something lashed at her ankle, snaking around her limb like a serpent and tugging her off balance so quickly she could not react. She felt herself being spun around in the grip of the Cockatrices' tail, and knew she was being lured into it's deadly gaze. Her eyes clamped shut, she swept her Draich out to sever the tail. It let go and receded, though in the smoke she could not tell if she had cut it or it had simply let go. Suddenly there was movement beside her, and she almost tore her Draich upwards before she registered the familiar footfalls, not the beat and scrape of the Cockatrice flapping and dragging it's tail. It was Vryala, the warrior entering the rapidly dispersing smoke beside her, sword and shield at the ready.

Phalx hopped onto the broken wall and turned, looking down on the smoke from above just as the thick cloud started to part. He caught glimpses of movement that quickly transformed into his comrades and the monster, locked in a twirling melee that neither one had yet taken control of. Likely due to sheer luck, the Cockatrice had avoided being chopped apart in the smoke, but the thick air had also blocked it's deadly gaze from reaching either of the girls. Now Karonath and Vryala were beside one another, lashing out left and right into the parting fog with their blades, but he could see the Cockatrice had drifted back out of reach. He watched and waited for it to come close enough for him to pounce on it, hoping his comrades would be able to lure it towards him despite the hazard involved with trying to usher such a creature around. As the smoke cleared, Vryala and Karonath caught sight of the creature in front of them again, looking only at it's sweeping tail and feather legs, each ending in a trio of razor sharp talons. They dared not look any higher, and the Cockatrice let out an eagles cry as challenge, pawing at the air with it's claws.

The Cockatrice beat it's wings into a slow drift to the left, and the two mercenaries turned with it as they began to circle each other, Phalx looking on from the low wall a few yards behind the monster.



***


Relieved of combat by the guards on the walls, Casaythe pushed himself back up from one knee to his feet and then turned and offered a hand to Elysian. The Mage was laying flat on his back, his chin left bloody from the maul that had scraped up it with force enough to lift him from the ground. If the blow had been just a little closer, it would have snapped his neck back or smashed his throat to pulp. Once the Shadowmancer was on his feet, they nodded their thanks to the Druchii on the walls, and helped Caraoc scramble back up to his feet from where he had been left on all fours, the axe knocking the side of him and causing stars to dance across his vision, and not the sort of stars he liked to sing about. It seemed they were all allies this day, even the Druchii who worked for other houses, and that was at least one small fact in which the mercenaries could find comfort. Chaos Warriors, Skaven and Beastmen were enemies enough, without the usual contenders stepping in as well.

They were quickly on their way again, leaving before the guards on the road could finish the Chaos Warriors in case they started asking questions about the lightning and sudden, painful death of the unit champion. They stepped out onto the north road and glanced left and right, seeing nothing but an empty street in either direction, though with obvious signs of damage to the north. They crossed over, not wanting to remain out in the open, and set a course straight for the library. Elysian led them towards the Nobles' Market, but just before they reached it some twenty minutes later they instead turned north up another relatively wide road. En route they had passed the sites of several other small skirmishes, dead marauders and dead Druchii accompanied by the occasional dead armoured Chaos Warrior. Whatever it was the Northmen were after, they appeared to be a force to be reckoned with, and the mercenaries could only hope they didn't run into a contingent of them alone.



They moved in the shadows on the sides of the street, at one point having to turn back and take a dark alleyway onto the next road because of a mob of Chaos Warriors that were hunting up and down the street, numbering well over a dozen at first glance. They found another alley leading back to the road they were supposed to be on and carried on north, looking for the library on either side of the street, unsure of it's exact location but sure from Sevros' description that they were on the right road. Again, Elysian had to suddenly grab the two Corsairs' and push them towards cover, before following them into the deep shadow between two buildings. A handful of the armoured Northmen emerged from an alleyway, looking left and right up and down the road before one pointed south with his sword and muttered something in their dark, simple tongue. They had to wait for the heavy footsteps of the warriors to fade away before they returned to the street, and moved swiftly north in search of the library, no doubt the same thing the warriors were looking for going by the vision.

Five minutes later, Elysian stopped them again. Casaythe and Caraoc were about to move for cover when they too saw what the Mage had seen, a small heraldry on the wall either side of a dark alleyway between two buildings. It was of a dark horse, rearing up at a midnight sky, the heraldry of House Tvar. The Shadowmancer led the way into the darkness, creeping through a short distance before they arrived in a small square behind the buildings of the street they were on and the next. Where some of the houses on either street had gardens behind, those close to the alleyway did not. Their straight stone sides created a walled square, hidden from sight in the darkness between streets. A good place to hide a private collection of valuable artifacts, thought both the thief and the Corsairs. In the middle of the shadowy square stood a low building, only a single storey high and with no visible windows.

The doorway lay up a set of wide, curving steps, flanked by two great stone statues of rearing black horses. They loomed over the square and added to the dark shadows it was already heavy with, concealing the doorway itself in total darkness.

Caraoc, -1 crossbow clip
Elysian, -1 crossbow clip
Vryala, -1 crossbow clip


Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:26 pm
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