Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Message from Neraka

Bright Eye, Winter Night 2, 354 AC

            “Hello everyone,” the freed dwarf said with a booming voice, “thanks fer the rescue. Sir Argent Hearthguard  o' The Silver Master at yer service.”

            Chai glanced over his shoulder, "another burrower."

            "Who is the Silver Master?" Odren scratched his head looking at Argent.

            “I like silver,” Cherry giggled, “it’s shiny!”

            Argent Hearthguard smiled, “Silver Master be me matron. She was smiling on me till these brigand Hobs took me shipment on the way ta Tarsis. Poor sick folk ya know.”

            "Well that is,” Odren scratched his head, his eyes wide, not quite comprehending, “umm interesting." The confused dwarf shrugged as if to dismiss his confusion. Walking over to Argent, Odren patted his fellow dwarf on the shoulder, “Well I am sure we will find this silver master here someday.”

            Argent shrugged, “If yer ambitious and a good worker I don't doubt it.”

            “Well I’m gonna find me some where nice,” Cherry said as she yawned, “I’m tired of this cave. “

            Odren’s eyes darted after the kender as she skipped away back toward the entrance.

            “I’ll go get her lads,” Argent offered, “least I can do.”

Odren nodded as Chai and Gharad promptly ignored the departing kender and dwarf and followed the path Chai pointed out, the cleric relaxing visibly as the dwarven paladin left.

Odren’s gaze darted from Chai to the cave entrance, then back to Chai before finally following the cleric. 
Chai cared little what the dwarf did, but suspected multiple targets maybe a better strategy should they encounter more hobgoblins in this cave. The cleric took the torch from its wall sconce and made his way to the back of the cave and to the shaped stone corridor. Gharad followed close behind with his weapon drawn.  The corridor narrowed to a single door, stout and made of wood. It was partially opened, and Chai smiled. The hobgoblin who had fled in terror may have made exploring this cave easier.

Odren’s eyes darted around the cave as he sighed, earning an elbow form Gharad.
“Quiet dwarf!” the dark warrior hissed, “I think I heard something. Get ready.”

Chai motioned his readiness as he clutched his bronze medallion of faith. Odren moved near one of the walls, and then let the chain to his club fall loose by his side. The chain rattled slightly.

            The trio waited for several moments. Guttural voices echoed louder but the door never budged.

            Chai pointed at Gharad, then to the door. Nodding, Gharad moved to the door and opened it. Gharad jumped back as a crossbow bolt clattered against the now open door. Blade in hand Gharad stepped in, shouting, "in the name of the Dark Queen stop shooting at me and take me to your leader. I bring message from Neraka."

            Gharad ducked down as another bolt flew toward him, making Odren yelp as it landed on the cave floor near his dwarvish feet.

            Chai stepped out from behind the dark warrior, "drop your futile attempts of resistance or be slaughtered to the last.”

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Warrior of Shinare

Bright Eye, Winter Night 2, 354 AC

Cherry sheathed her small knife, and pulled out her sling. Her head darted to and fro as she searched for another opponent.

“One scared. One ran. One fighting and,” she placed her hand on the chest of the hobgoblin that had stood over her and laughed, “one dying.”

“Dying?” Chai replied as he listened to Cherry’s ramblings. The cleric stepped forward, ignoring the clash of axe and blade and the cursing of broken weapons behind him. From somewhere deep within his clerical vestments Chai produced a dagger of bone and steel. He knelt next to the dying hob and with a prayer pushed his blade into its faintly beating heart.

 “May the Silver Master take you!” The freed dwarf shouted. 

Chai turned as he sensed a power counter to his own. The cleric narrowed his eyes as he saw the Dwarf’s blade glow with a white light. An infusion of divine power, brief as it was.

“A paladin,” the cleric noted to himself, “This should be interesting.”

Odren turned as something moved out of the corner of his eye. The hobgoblin that had been crying in the shadows ran forward, a great axe in his hands. Odren scrambled for the damaged crossbow dropped by the dead hobgoblin before him.  

            Gharad cursed once more and dropped his ruined bow and charged forward with his blade in hand. The hobgoblin snarled and stood as tall as his six foot tall frame would allow, bracing himself for his new foe.

The hobgoblin swung his great axe at the charging warrior’s torso. Gharad ducked down, bringing his blade up into the hobgoblin’s stomach as he came up. The hobgoblin dropped its axe and stared at Gharad, shock and disbelief in its eyes. Gharad pulled out his blade, letting the creature fall to the ground.  

Chai smiled as he could see the hobgoblin still breathed. The cleric stepped closer to Gharad, his dagger still dripping blood from his previous sacrifice.  Even by torchlight Chai could see the hobgoblin’s eyes begin to glaze over. His chest rise and fall slower and slower. Chai stared as death over took the hobgoblin, a silent joy in the cleric’s heart.

“The Lord of Bones collects us all,” he prayed under his breath.

The hobgoblin’s eyes glazed over completely, its face once a picture of hate and agony now peaceful in its own ugly way.

Chai turned to see how the freed dwarf was fairing, only to see the dwarf cleaning his blade on the torn uniform of a now dead hobgoblin. The cleric nodded his approval and took in his surroundings, unconcerned about the final hobgoblin who had fled in terror.

The cave itself was roughly hewn, far from natural though no skilled hand had carved it out. Several creates lay broken nearby but had been empty long ago, as far as he could surmise. The cleric only noticed one item of interest; a well-worn path leading from the entrance to the back of the cave. And even with his untrained eye aided only by torchlight he could tell the back wall of the cave actually appeared to be shaped stone, leading into a corridor.  

Chai walked over to Gharad, elbowing the warrior and pointing out the path. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Hobgoblins and Snapped Strings

Bright Eye, Winter Night 2, 354 AC

Gharad jumped back and the axe hit the cave wall and chipping stone.

Cherry screamed in simultaneous joy and shock.  With another roar and sneeze the bound dwarf broke his bonds as a crossbow bolt streaked from a  darkened corner of the  cave eliciting another scream from Cherry.

"Oh! Oh! Careful there,” Odren cautioned, “Dey may be demons."

 “Well this is gonna be no fun party either!” Cherry pouted as a second bolt grazed the young kender. “Ouchy, that hurt!”

The axe wielding hobgoblin pressed on against Gharad, swing at the dark warrior’s abdomen.

Gharad ducked low and popped back up with his blade in hand, “Stop this mindless fighting Hobgoblin, and take me to your leader. Do this and none of you will get hurt."

Cherry pulled out her dagger and charged the shadows, attempting to stop the barrage of bolts from making her a pincushion only to hit the wall in of the cave. Standing above her a hobgoblin laughed.

“I'll get you next time!” The bruised kender growled.

Chai moved closer his bronze medallion glowed as he prayed, “Chemosh! Lord of Bones! Lord of Death! Let them know fear!”  

The dark cleric could sense the waves of terror emanate from him and his bronze skull medallion. He smirked in delight as a hobgoblin jumped from the shadows and ran further into the cave, a small trail of urine in his wake.

Odren roared and leaped about, his eyes never leaving the prone kender.  His chained club whirled about his head and lashed out at the laughing hobgoblin. The club struck the wall and the floors only fueling more laughter.

            The now freed dwarven prisoner smiled, and ran to his captured weapons, grabbing his long sword. The freed dwarf looked over at a sound of soft whimpering. Another hobgoblin terrified as the one that ran. This one frozen in fear and curled in a ball lying in a puddle  of its own pungent urine. The dwarf shook his head,  and  found a more worthy foe.

“Bloody Hob scum!” The dwarf howled as he charged the battle axe wielding hobgoblin.
The laughing Hobgoblin stopped laughing, dropped his bolt and swung at Cherry. Only to curse loudly as the kender rolled out of the way. The kender scrambled to her feet as she heard the crossbow make contact with the hard stone floor.

Odren once more lashed out with his chain club, howling with undisguised glee as the cub made contact with its skull. With a sickening thud that echoed despite the sound of combat the once laughing hobgoblin’s eyes rolled to the back of its head as the creature fell to the ground.

Cherry cheered as the tide of battle turned.  Odren turned to his young friend, grinning at her from beneath his scruffy beard.

“Ain’t done yet lass!’ The freed dwarf shouted as he and Gharad both dodged the sweeping blows of their opponent’s great axe.

Gharad grunted and nodded in agreement before stepping back, leaving the dwarf and the hobgoblin to each other. The human warrior pulled out his bow and sighted an arrow at the back of the distant terrified and fleeing hobgoblin, only to have the bowstring snap.

"Damn it,” Gharad cursed, “now I need to get you repaired."

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

of Dwarven Bondage

Bright Eye, Winter Night 2, 354 AC

            The kender and the cleric turned I the direction of loud thud and a pained moan. Gharad had been pushing forward into the cave, only to fall down a large, square hole in the ground. Cherry scurried forward to take a look, Chai followed behind her at a measured pace.

The kender poked around the edges of what turned out to be a pit trap of some age. The pit had been dug centuries ago, and the mechanism used to conceal it may have been just as old.  

“Huh,” Cherry grunted as she began to chew on the end of her strawberry blonde topknot.

            “What is it kender?” Chai asked as he peered down into the hole.

“I think this has been fixed, it was all rusted out, but someone put some more oil on the gears. And replaced some of the counterweights”

The cleric nodded.

Cherry began tom fiddle with the mechanism as Odren bumped into her backside. Odren’s body still shook as he looked at the walls with eyes wide and full of tears. Chai reached forward and pulled the  kender back from the edge of the pit, preventing her fall.

Cherry nodded and glanced back at Odren, shaking her head.

Chai  once more looked down the into the pit, "need a light, Gharad?"

"I could use some light, yes." the warrior moaned. Scratching echoed through the cave as Gharad searched for hand holds. It didn’t take long for Gharad to make his way out, his hand s red and raw.

Cherry smiled as Gharad pulled himself out and turned to look at Odren. The dwarf still shook and clutched his unusual chain weapon tightly. “It’s ok,” she said. “This is gonna be fun, nothing scary in here.”

The dark warrior began cursing at his own clumsiness until Chai put a hand on his shoulder. The cleric pointed toward the back of the cave and at a slight glow. He turned and pointed at the kender, "I suggest you to go first."

 “Me?” Her face broke into an even wider smile. “Oh yeah, I am a born leader!”
Laughing she grabbed hold of Odren’s hand, “Come on! We are gonna lead.”

" Uh… uh… alright...” Odren stuttered before swallowing hard.  “I will watch out for any demons.”

“You do that!” Cherry laughed and moved to the front, Odren right on her tail. Chai and Gharad followed close behind.  As they crept forward the glow became a flickering light. The cave itself twisted and turned, making finding the source more difficult. The party kept weapons close, and Odren jumped back whenever the sound of a drop of water echoed through the chamber. They approached the flickering light to see a dwarf hogtied beside a several crates. Beside one of the crates, mounted in rusted wall sconce, a torch flickered.

Cherry started to approach the struggling dwarf, only to see the dwarf violently shake his head. The kender furrowed her brow.

With a mighty sneeze the dwarf pushed out the dirty rag toed around his mouth, “It’s a trap!”

With a blood thirsty roar a hobgoblin charged from a darkened corner. His great axe swinging for Gharad’s head.