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Horns (Ratling quest)

Discussion in 'Questing' started by Tore, Jan 27, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 1
    Tore

    Tore Getting out there.

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    So i have no idea what i am doing, wish me luck (first quest)!
    This is a quest set in an original fantasy world, which takes inspiration from many sources like Lord of the Rings and more modern work like Joe Abercombie's books. A large influence comes from the web serial https://practicalguidetoevil.wordpress.com/. If you haven' already started reading it i greatly recommend it. I make no promises about update rates. There will be no skill lists or stats because that sounds boring to me but do not fear, you will have a lot of input on how the character develops during the story. You will even get to name him when the time comes. The thoughts of the current viewpoint character will be written in italics. I won't provide you with lots of information in the beginning but you will learn about the world during the quest. If you survive long enough to learn that is. If you do something really stupid, you might die. I will roll dice in the background for risky plans and actions that rely on luck (Not sure how often this will happen). There will also be an expectation of realism in this worlds context. No matter what you do or roll you are not going to survive a 100 meter drop to some rocks with out magical help or kill a fully grown dragon with a stick (are there even dragons in this world?). Lets get to it!
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    The world is dark and full of grasping claws. Whines rise and fall in the filth that fills every nook and cranny of the cavern he calls home. His sensitive nose has grown used to the smell of mud and blood. There is a palpable tension in the air as the sound of stomping feet approaches. It is feeding time and mother has arrived. He knows nothing but the hunger in his belly as he dashes forward on four small legs, pushing and biting to find relief for the gaping hole in his stomach. Claws and teeth find purchase and suddenly he reaches the front of the writhing mass of rodents.

    Mother is large, far larger than any other rat he has ever seen. Her fur is sleek and oh so soft. She offers her milk and he suckles greedily. Mother shrieks and a claw swipe sends one of his sisters flying. She bit too hard in her excitement. He has learned to not make that mistake twice and controls himself. The thought of going hungry is unbearable and mothers claws give ugly wounds. Must drink, must grow. Avoid sting. Someone bites his tail and he kicks back in fury, desperate to keep his place. Mine mine mine mine mine Mine! The others are insistent and they hoist him of his feet and drag him backwards. Someone else takes his place. Soon mother decides it is time to leave and climbs up the ledge, vanishing from view.

    A semblance of peace returns to the cavern after mothers departure. Small forms scurry everywhere in the darkness, finding their way to softer ground. Rats form piles and begin to sleep. He seeks a pile of his own and curls up next to his brothers and sisters. Someone falls on top of him from the top of the pile and he rolls them downwards, heedless of the squeaking. He is far too tired to care. Soon sleep takes him and he dreams of horns stretching towards a foreign heaven he cannot comprehend.

    This cycle repeats itself over and over again. He eats and sleeps and sleeps some more. His days are filled with short bursts of fighting for food and endless boredom. Time passes and the cavern begins to grow crowded. He and his brothers and sisters have grown. They are not the tiny rats they used to be anymore and if he had the words to describe himself he would compare himself to a small dog. He reaches mothers knees now! Alas he has never seen a dog nor eaten one at least to his knowledge. This day feels special. Mother has spent all day with them, licking their fur and squeaking. He can smell her sorrow and it scares him. A new large scary looking rat arrives from the tunnel and leans over the ledge, looking at you and your siblings. The strangers fur is a mixture of grey and brown and he is missing an ear. The stranger shouts a string of words and mother answers. He only understands bits and pieces. Something about leaving?

    Mother sighs and begins to push all of her babies towards the ledge and the stranger. He climbs up the rock face, claws sinking in to find purchase in the stone. It is easier than he thought and soon he is laying next to the stranger. Others follow in his wake and he moves out of the way. Soon the stranger leads them up the tunnel towards new and wonderful smells. As they move ever upwards it starts to get brighter and brighter. His eyes hurt and he closes them, moving by touch. It only gets worse and he can hear the distressed squeaking of his siblings around him. Someone tries to flee back to mother but the stranger pounces on them and kicks them to the front of the queue. Suddenly they are in the open air. The brightness is overwhelming and he curls up on the ground trying to shield his eyes. The smell of fresh grass fills his nostrils. The stranger lets them be but stops everyone who tries to run back to the cave. By nightfall the worst is behind them.

    The following week is spent learning to follow basic commands and mock fighting in the surrounding forest. Whenever he is not eating or sleeping the stranger is making sure his muscles ache in the evening. The world is a wondrous place. So much to see and smell, so many delicious critters to eat. There is a giant ball of bright hotness in the blue above him as he runs through the wet forest. The sound of pursuit echoes behind him and his eyes try to see through the foliage around him. Where to hide?

    [ ] He scurry's up a tree. Best to take the high ground!
    [ ] He continues running. The rats behind him are not that close yet.
    [ ] A bush! He jumps inside and lays in wait. This might be a good place for an ambush.
    [ ] write in
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
    prince84, Ragura, Pandachop and 2 others like this.
  2. tellion

    tellion I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    [X] He scurry's up a tree. Best to take the high ground!
     
  3. Threadmarks: Chapter 2
    Tore

    Tore Getting out there.

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    [X] He scurry's up a tree. Best to take the high ground! (He is a careful and cautious rat.)

    The rats pursuing him make quite a ruckus as they run through the forest, scattering pine cones in all directions. Head swiveling he looks for the nearest tree. Dropping hurts, must have good grip. There is a large tree up ahead and he runs up to it. He moves so the tree is between himself and the pursuers and starts to climb. His strong limbs easily lift a fairly light body and he almost runs up the side of the tree. Rising above the earth is exhilarating. Everything down in the forest floor is so small he could fit even a large log in his paws. A tiny beetle dashes past him and he snatches it with his mouth. He is hungry. They weren't given as much food today and he did not see the stranger eating at all. The beetle is delicious, all crunchy in his teeth.

    The wind is stronger in the tree tops and he holds tight with four legs of claws to stay on. A faint smell of smoke drifts in the air. The rats belonging to the other pack in this exercise run past his tree, oblivious to his presence. He lets out a happy squeak when they are outside of hearing distance. There are very few rats in his pack left, most got captured early on. The stranger won't be happy but that can't be helped. Darn. He rubs his pointed snout in irritation. The stranger is not as soft and nice as mother. For a little while he feels sorry for himself and tries to imagine that the branch he is holding on to is mothers leg. It doesn't work. Mother didn't have bark on her legs. A sigh escapes from him and he starts to make his way down. He finds is a lot harder than climbing upwards and when his tiny feet finally touch the ground he promises to practice more before climbing another large tree. Little ratlings don't fall from trees with the same ease as pine cones.

    He begins to make his way back to the area of dense spruce trees they have been using as a camp. Sleeping under the branches is quite comfy, especially if one gathers a nice pile of spruce needles to sleep on. The main pursuit seems to have passed him completely and the forest is quiet. The only sound he can hear is the tip tap of his own feet. It makes him uncomfortable. Innately he knows this is not how a forest should be. The birds do not sing as often as they should and mammals, big and small, are nowhere to be seen. It was quiet already when they came out of the cave but the last rabbit in the area surely died when the young ratlings were weaned of their mothers milk. A growing pack needs all the food it can eat.

    When he arrives to the camp most of the rats in his side are already there and the stranger is berating them for their poor performance. He slips in among the group. It is not immediately obvious but the stranger has an urgency about him. His front paws hold a stick and he beats the ground to emphasize his words.

    "You need to be better than this! Next time don't scatter when you walk in to an ambush. Little rats are easy pickings when they are alone. So don't be alone you maggots!" The stranger rubs his forehead in dejection. "We will pick it up tomorrow, now go and rest. Whatever food they can spare for us will arrive shortly."

    Everyone scatters amongst the the trees. He tried to count how many rats there were in the camp yesterday but it was difficult. He counted twice as many rats as he had fingers and lost count. This morning another large group of rats joined them and counting became impossible. Rats and more rats. He finds a rat he knows from the cave, a brother of his with a black snout and together they snuggle in a pile of pine needles, next to the road that cuts through the forest. Together they wait for the cart to arrive. It comes late in the evening and there is barely enough food for them all. The stranger and his stick are the only things keeping fights from breaking out. Everyone goes to bed hungry.

    The situation does not improve and three days after his adventure on top of the tree there comes a message with the food cart and the large ratling pulling it. It is time to leave and march towards the mountains in the southwest. He and the rest just follow where the stranger leads them. Where would they run? Game is hard to find and the food carts are going in the same direction. The roads are filled with ratlings. It is a host on the move. He could not imagine there were this many rats in the whole world. Midway through the day a giant ratling surrounded with smaller but still huge rats passes their column by going full tilt. He looks at the group in awe. You would need to stack at least three strangers to reach the big ones back. Soon the giant has vanished in to the horizon, leaving a cloud of dust behind its passing.

    After a week of rough marching they see their first human. The stranger tells them that the live ones have a lot more meat in their bones and the adult ones are a lot bigger. The skeleton has been picked clean. As the giant ball of flame is giving way to the night they arrive to a place so strange, none of the little ratlings have a frame of reference for it. The stranger tells them it is a small border town of the Kingdom of Dale. There are weird caves but not caves that are above the ground. The ratlings make camp in the town and fights break out between tired rats who want to sleep inside the "houses". The town is full to bursting and the war camp stretches past the stacked rocks that surround the town.

    He does not feel like sleeping just yet. The mountains are very close now. He climbs on top of the strange stacked rocks the stranger called "walls" and looks at the town in wonder. What kind of creature could build this? These humans are mighty indeed. He turns around and looks toward their destination. There are lights in the mountains. More of them in the valleys where the enemy waits. There will be more of these walls and a lot of angry humans where they are heading. Spears and shields. Long claws that cut. He shudders. There is no helping it for he is afraid. His fear is dust in the wind. They have been hungry for weeks now. His stomach howls for food. Everyone else in his pack feels the same hunger. This morning one of the smaller rats in the pack was found dead. He had been eaten during the night. They had never packed camp so quickly.

    Slowly he makes his way outside the town walls. There is a dirty puddle next to the walls and he tries to make out his own features in the dying light. He does not know what he expected to find. A dirty, brown ratling with grey spots in his snout stares back at him. He sits with his back to the wall and stares at the mountains. Death, hurt and pain. Meat. He shivers. This time tomorrow he might be dead. It is a hard thing to think about. The light fades and plunges the world into darkness. The lights in the distance shine ever more brightly, beckoning him to test the steel manning those walls. He makes a decision. If he is to die tomorrow, he wants to die with a name. All the big ratlings have names. Even the stranger has a name. Someone they met three days ago called him Vercaq. He has heard many other names in the past few days. Rahz, Voq and Brihk. Sihl, Fher and Cix. Time passes as he ponders the problem. The camp around him falls to sleep. Finally he comes up with something fitting.
    [ ] Djoz
    [ ] Nerras
    [ ] Skaz
    [ ] Dregger
    [ ] Kerzhal
    [ ] Write in
    He tastes the word on his tongue. It doesn't come out right. None of the little ratlings can really speak properly. It will have to do.
     
  4. tellion

    tellion I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    [X] Skarzhal

    Also are these rats similar to the skaven in any way?
     
  5. Tore

    Tore Getting out there.

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    There are some similarities. They and the Chain of Hunger from a Practical Guide to Evil were the main inspiration in the ratling side of things =). I don't want to say too much so i won't spoil anything.
     
  6. tellion

    tellion I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Oh that's fine anything skaven inspired is good for me!

    Can't wait to see the rest of this quest!

    Now for some blatant self promoting inquiring if you are interested in looking at my quest out of boredom in exchange?
     
  7. Threadmarks: Chapter 3
    Tore

    Tore Getting out there.

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    [x] Skarzhal

    In the morning they set out towards the mountain range. There is no food to distribute anymore. The rising sun greets them and lights up the beaten, muddy ground. The flows of ratlings split up, some heading to valleys in the south and the northwest. The stranger leads his pack southwest, towards the valley between the highest peaks. Snow covers the tops of the mountains and glistens in the sun. The mountain range is called the Rodents Teeth and between those teeth stands the fortress of Anglagan. One of the many seals between the Rat Lands and the Kingdom of Dale. The air is heavy in Skarzhal’s lungs and every breath is precious. As they march, they pass the sickly and the weak, those whose strength has left them, lying in the dirt. All of them clinging to life with same desperation and longing. They pass those left behind and step into the shadow cast by the peaks.

    A pack of about a hundred large ratlings dressed in mail and carrying swords and shields joins forces with them. The stranger forfeits command to a rat with a mean looking axe after the pair clasp arms. A distant, ever present sound begins to get louder and louder. After two hours of marching their column goes over the last hill between them and the plain in front of the fortress and Skarzhal understands his error. The sound washes over him. The shuffling of feet. The clinging of mail and roaring and squeaking. He was not marching with an army. The thousands of ratlings he has seen marching towards the Rodents Teeth were a mere meager reinforcement. A grain of sand on a beach. His eyes behold a host that can break empires.

    Large ratlings in armor and weapons at the ready are numbered in the tens of thousands. Little ratlings are a mass beyond counting and they swarm everywhere in the plains in front of him. "Ancient ones," the larger ratlings in their column whisper and point their claws and swords to the three giant ratlings that pull ramps behind them. The Ancient ones are larger than many of those houses Skarzhal last saw this morning. From the looks of it, the battle has been going on from some time and will soon begin again. There is a massive red tent in the center of the host, next to a large boulder. Everyone gives the tent a wide berth.

    As they walk down the hillside Skarzhal takes in the Fortress of Anglagan. What wonders are possible, when even now i can't believe my eyes. It was a series of walls and gatehouses, stretching ever deeper and ever higher from the valley into the pass. Now four of the six walls are broken and overrun. Between the peaks the main fortress waits, a wall and three towers reaching towards the heavens. It is made from black stone that seems to suck the light from the air. To Skarzhal it looks mean. Like a thorn stuck in the flesh of the mountains.

    The stench of death grows stronger as they walk on the plain among the host. The ranks are orderly enough and there is enough empty space to move units to the front. There are piles of corpses on the field, casualties of prior assaults. Some them are burned and molten. The enemy has mages. Skarzhal turns his eyes away from them. That could be me soon. He is still quite shaken by the scale of the conflict. The ratlings are not without magic either. What awaits us, if this is needed to shatter it? They reach the first wall and he gets his first look at an adult human skeleton. The skeletons have been stripped of flesh and piles of them fill the ground. Skazhal walks in a daze and suddenly they are past the fourth wall. He can see individual humans in the distance now, on top of the fifth wall. Blue flags depicting a striking eagle fly on the parapets. Their pack of some two hundred little ratlings and a bit over hundred armed ratlings makes their way to their assigned spot.

    There is still quite a lot of rats between them and the front line but it isn't as reassuring as Skarzhal thought it would be. Ladders and ramps are transported by their position in a frenzy of activity. In no time at all the action stops and the field stills. The sudden silence takes the breath from Skarzhal's lungs. Ten heartbeats pass and then a ripple goes through the host. A large form has left the tent and the form rises on top of the bolder. "Horned Lord," the whispers spread. Skarzhal has heard stories of them on the march. They command the Hosts of Hunger and rule in Kharakbar in the center of the Rat Lands.

    The Horned Lord is even larger than the Ancient ones. Most of all he is elegant and graceful. Horns rise from his head and crown him in dread. He looks at his swarm and finds them worthy. The Horned Lord raises his hands in the air and spreads his sword sized claws. He opens his maw and Roars.

    The roar spreads through Skarzhal, resonating in his heart, and answers a question he hadn't known to ask. What is his purpose? It is to live. To exist in this world. To find suffering and joy. To taste all life has to offer and hang on to it to the bitter end because he is mortal. He could not describe what he feels but in his soul he knows that the Horned Lord is a godhead made flesh. The roar envelopes him. He feels the mud between his clawed toes. He tastes the smell of death and meat in his tongue. The humans manning the walls flinch. The field explodes in sound and the host begins to charge forward.

    The humans begin to sing. They seek to match the roar and fail. Skarzhal can still hear it though. Through the calamity that surrounds him he hears them sing of ascension. Of otherworldly spires and congregations of spheres. Of a home amongst the Faceless gods. He finds them wanting. He knows now the Nameless face of his own gods and ads his voice to the roar.
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    There are quite a lot of options open for Skarzhal now. He is very small and maneuverable.
    [ ] Skarzhal tries to stay close to a ratling with a big tower shield. The ratling and his companions carry long ladders.
    [ ] One of the Ancient ones is quite close and she is heading for the gatehouse. Skarzhal will try to follow in her wake.
    [ ] A group of bear sized ratlings are pulling a ramp towards the wall in Skarzhal's right side. He joins the troops behind them.
    [ ] write in

    Authors note:
    I realize the choices in the earlier chapters might not have been the most exiting but this should change now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
  8. tellion

    tellion I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    [X] One of the Ancient ones is quite close and she is heading for the gatehouse. Skarzhal will try to follow in her wake.
     
  9. Tore

    Tore Getting out there.

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    I will check it out when i have the time =)
     
    tellion likes this.
  10. tellion

    tellion I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Thank you my boi but something came up and I will be editing my last chapter for it.

    Still great chapter as always!
     
  11. Biigoh

    Biigoh Moderator

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    [X] One of the Ancient ones is quite close and she is heading for the gatehouse. Skarzhal will try to follow in her wake.
     
  12. Threadmarks: Chapter 4
    Tore

    Tore Getting out there.

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    Authors note:
    As you can tell Skarzhal is having a bit of a religious moment. A Horned Lords presence made that a certainty. Rest assured that this is not railroading. You will find out more about the gods in the future and you are free to choose who to follow or whether you wish to follow any gods at all. That's about it, lets get this show on the road!

    [X] One of the Ancient ones is quite close and she is heading for the gatehouse. Skarzhal will try to follow in her wake.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Up close the Ancient one looks truly menacing. Skarzhal made his way to her as fast as he could when the charge started. She wears a large steel helm that leaves only narrow slits for her eyes. She runs easily with the host, conserving her strength. Skarzhal follows in her footsteps. The gatehouse looms in the distance. Arrows fall from the sky like raindrops. The roar of the Horned Lord echoes in all of them. There is divinity in this. Tears fall from his eyes. Is this what bravery feels like? The arrows strike home and ratlings fall all around him. A hail of arrows bounces off the Ancient ones thick fur and ricochets from her helm. She is not bothered in the slightest.

    The first rows of the charge begin to explode. They have reached the killing grounds filled with mines and stakes. Mutilated ratlings are launched in the air and the enemy mages make themselves known. Lightning and flame begin to rain down from the ramparts. The charge does not slow down. It picks up speed. On top of the wall a chant is rising to it's crescendo. The Ancient one begins to pull ahead of Skarzhal and he runs like he has never ran before. His muscles burn with the effort. The chant concludes and a ring of green fire forms on top of the gatehouse. A green, house sized fireball shoots out of it towards the Ancient one. It undulates in the air violently like the space it exists in is too small and something is going to burst at any moment.

    The good thing about being right behind the Ancient one is that she is so huge. She blocks a lot of projectiles due to her size alone. The bad thing about being right behind the Ancient one is that she draws a lot of attention. Skarzhal stares as death flies towards him in wonder. There is no fear in his heart. The Ancient one shows no hesitation. She jumps to meet the green death and roars her defiance. Just as they are about to collide, when the world seems to grind to a halt and the tension in the air screams for release, she fills that silent heartbeat with single word. "Embrace."

    The word rings in Skarzhal's head. The green flame does not explode. It envelopes the Ancient one like a second layer of fur and after a landing that shakes the earth, she continues to charge. She cleared the remaining ranks in front of her and she is sprinting now, her giant paws eating up the distance. A final, desperate lightning bolt strikes her and the green flames devour it. Skarzhal can see the whites of the humans eyes now. They scream and brace for impact. The wall shakes and men fall from the parapets as twenty tons of ratling shoulder checks the portcullis. The iron bends but does not break.

    The host reaches the wall and ladders rise to the parapets. Ramps are pushed in their place and the tide of ratlings begins to stream up the wall. Shields shatter and blades cleave through meat and bone as the swarm takes their first bite. It is utter chaos. Still the humans sing. A ratling falls from a ladder, a sword stuck in his throat and lands right next to Skarzhal. The sword almost takes his front paws. The mass behind them pushes ratlings, Skarzhal included right up to the Ancient one and he cringes, waiting for the agony of burning flesh. The flames lick him and instead of pain he only feels gusts of warmth.

    The Ancient one jumps upwards and clasps the parapet with her front claws. Her tail swings in front of Skarzhal and he takes the chance. He jumps and holds on tight as the Ancient one climbs up the wall and rolls on top of it, crushing all the unfortunate souls that happened to man that particulate section of the wall. Some of the crushed are dressed in opulent robes. Those were probably the mages. Skarzhal lands on top of a bowman and there is no time for thoughts. His teeth sink in the mans throat and he ravages the soft flesh between the mail shirt and the helmet. The feeling is glorious. Tasty. He stands up, blood dripping from his teeth.
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    Now what is Skarzhal going to do? Remember, the wall is very thick. Thick enough for the Ancient one to stand on top of it so there is some room to move.

    [ ] A ratling who has lost his tail is rolling in the ground with a human, trying to push a dagger through the humans eye. Help the ratling.
    [ ] A man with an arrow through his neck is killing ratlings left and right as soon as they rise above the parapet. He has his back to Skarzhal. Attack him.
    [ ] Hug the wall and stay as close to the Ancient one as possible.
    [ ] In front of the Ancient one stands a woman with a large two handed axe. She is smiling. Help the Ancient one and attack the woman.
    [ ] write in

    Authors note:
    Unfortunately, tomorrow you won't get an update. My lectures finish at 9 pm =(.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  13. Biigoh

    Biigoh Moderator

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    [X] A man with an arrow through his neck is killing ratlings left and right as soon as they rise above the parapet. Hehas his back to Skarzhal. Attack him.
     
  14. tellion

    tellion I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    [X] A man with an arrow through his neck is killing ratlings left and right as soon as they rise above the parapet. Hehas his back to Skarzhal. Attack him.
     
  15. Slifer

    Slifer Not a Sky Dragon

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    [X] In frontof the Ancient one stands a woman with a large two handed axe. She is smiling. Help the Ancient one and attack the woman.
     
  16. Threadmarks: Chapter 5
    Tore

    Tore Getting out there.

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    I have returned! It seems there was one brave soul who was willing to charge a woman who is exited at the thought of fighting an Ancient one but alas his/her dream of instant death was left unsatisfied =).

    [X] A man with an arrow through his neck is killing ratlings left and right as soon as they rise above the parapet. He has his back to Skarzhal. Attack him.
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    A man with an arrow sticking from his throat is cleaving ratlings to pieces in front of Skarzhal. Well that won't do. Skarzhal jumps forward and sinks his teeth into the man's thigh. The man gurgles and kicks erratically. Two little ratlings come over the parapet and latch on to his face and the four of them tip over. The Ancient one screams in pain and a flash of light illuminates the wall as ratlings strem up the ladders. Skarzhal leaves the newcomers to finish of the twitching man and raises his head just in time to see the woman and the Ancient one fall from the wall and smack into the ground. He peers down as the pair begin to circle each other. The human soldiers make a fast retreat to greener pastures.

    "Well ain't you a tough bitch," the woman says and wipes a strand of hair back behind her ear. "They call me the Tanner and i will make some fine leather out of you."

    Skarzhal gets the impression that the Ancient one is not particularly threatened by the declaration. Without warning she breaths a cloud of grey smoke at the Tanner, who dodges faster than anyone has the right to, cursing all the while. The smoke continues on and hits a group of human soldiers who fall to the ground screaming, flesh melting of their frames.

    "Oh, you will pay for that," the Tanner promises and charges forward.

    Two ratlings push Skarzhal out of the way and jump down. They are about the size of an average human but they have a sliver of the same presence the Ancient one excludes around herself. They join the fight, moving with supernatural speed and grace. Looks like they have the Tanner under control. Skarzhal shuffles back from the edge and is almost immediately kicked in the face. Stars fill his vision and he rolls away as fast as he can. Steel strikes stone behind him. Skarzhal scrambles to his shaky legs and turns around. A man comes at him, axe raised but at the last moment the stranger jumps down from the parapet and cuts the man's head of.

    "Get moving maggot," the stranger screams and runs to the melee. Skarzhal shakes his ringing head and leans against the wall. Just a quick breather. I'll follow when the world stops spinning. Skarzhal's stomach agrees with the assessment and he pukes violently.

    The next thirty minutes are filled with bitter fighting on top of the wall, with neither side showing any signs of slowing down. Corpses pile high on both sides of the wall. The two other Ancient ones on the field try to make it on top of the wall but somehow the humans hold them off. The ratlings try to advance past their breaching points and create new ones while the humans try to expel them from the wall. The Tanners death begins to turn the tide. One of the two ratlings who jumped down to help the Ancient says something and is suddenly next to the Tanner, bringing his sword down at her head. The Tanner, who is now flanked on three sides dodges barely out of the way, right into the Ancient ones sweeping claws. The claws slice her to shreds and remove her left leg. The follow up crushes the Tanners head.

    It is evening by the time the bodies have been cleared away and the ranks are in order again. The ramps and ladders have been lifted over the fifth wall. When the humans realized the wall was lost they retreated in good order up the pass and into the fortress. Now only Anglagan stands between the host and the Kingdom of Dale. The Seal has never been breached. The Horned Lord stands on top of the fifth wall, watching. At the top of Anglagan's middle tower, the tallest of the three, stands a man in worn plate and grey robes. He is a alone and the air around him is filled with opaque panels of force that slowly circle him. His name is Kepler and he waits in silence.

    The stranger dragged Skarzhal with him after the wall was taken. They are once again in formation, this time closer to the middle of the host, waiting for the signal. All three Ancient ones stand at the fourth rank as formidable as ever and the sight fills Skazhal with confidence. Even if one of them is not on fire anymore. Maybe, just maybe...i might live. Better not get my hopes up though. He is tired and his head is sore. Most of all he is hungry. The couple bites of flesh he was able to take did not sate the gaping pit in his stomach in the slightest. There is no helping it. Behind those black walls lies salvation and it won't come cheap.

    The Horned Lord Roars once more and the host sweeps forward like a tide returning home.

    Kepler watches as the swarm charges through mines and pits. Ever closer. He closes his eyes and listens to the calamity that is about to fall on the greatest stonework his people have raised and knows in his heart it will not be enough. Then let me spend your strength Rat, he thinks. It is high time he took the stage.

    The man on top of the middle tower begins to sing. "The mirage of reality is plain to my eyes, the surface cracked yet unbroken." The words twist and slither through the air as the panels of light orbiting the man begin to rotate around their axis. Skarzhal feels the tension gathering in the air and his ears pop.

    "The wheel turns, the gears grind." The man spreads his hands and continues. "Let true falsehoods seep through the shackles of creation."

    Atleast a thousand ratlings die instantly. From the ground and the air all along the pass a forest of mirror-like shards emerges. The first ranks strike them head on. Every ratling that touches a shard shatters to pieces. The Ancient ones try to save themselves. One has already used the trick that could have seen her survive and tries to slow down. She hits the shards and falls apart. The second turns ethereal and tries to make it through. The forest of shards gouges pieces of him until nothing remains. The third slows down in time and saves himself. It is a poor comfort as the shards begin to advance.

    "Usurp," The Horned Lord answers and snatches the spell. He turns the shards unto themselves and they vanish from creation. "That's the spirit Kepler, my old friend." His voice booms across the battlefield. "Shall we dance?"

    The sky opens over the Horned Lord and a lance of light strikes down towards him like the fist of an angry god. He opens his maw and eats the spell. In a blink of an eye he breaths out and sends it right back towards Kepler who parries it to the heavens with a panel of force. The Horned Lord begins to breath in and all the spells raining down on his host begin to curve towards his gullet. The Host of Hunger charges forward.

    Upon the walls of Anglagan, madness reigns. Skarzhal doesn't know how he got here or where he is going. His teeth find flesh and he sinks them in drinking gulps of blood. The screaming is deafening. The stranger is next to him and he is covered in blood. His left arm is missing from the shoulder and he is roaring bloody murder, hacking at a dead man with his dull and chipped sword. A spear takes him to the chest and he vanishes from view. Night has descended and they fight in the light of scattered torches. There is no room for any technique. Enemy and friend are so squished together that many let go of their swords and take up their daggers. Time loses all meaning. The killing will never stop. We will be here in this moment, till the end of days.

    The horrid monotony breaks when a scream so alien that it cannot come from a mortal throat rings through the battlefield. A white figure with silver hair bursts into the inner courtyard hacking and slashing men to pieces. The figure makes his way at the foot of the middle tower and just runs up the side towards Kepler and his bubble of wards and shields. Kepler takes one look at the thing and shoots to the clouds.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [ ] Whoever or whatever that is, it killed a lot of humans when it made it's way in. Skarzhal tries to make his way to the courtyard and see what is going on.
    [ ] The humans are in shock and demoralized. Skarzhal stays with the force trying to clear the wall so the rest of the host can advance. They are pushing the humans back towards the middle of the fortresses outer wall.
    [ ] This looks like bad news. Skarzhal circles back and tries to stay as far away from the silver haired figure as possible.
    [ ] write in.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  17. Biigoh

    Biigoh Moderator

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    [X] The humans are in shock and demoralized. Skarzhal stays with the force trying to clear the wall so the rest of the host can advance. They are pushing the humans back towards the middle of the fortresses outer wall.
     
  18. tellion

    tellion I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    [X] The humans are in shock and demoralized. Skarzhal stays with the force trying to clear the wall so the rest of the host can advance. They are pushing the humans back towards the middle of the fortresses outer wall.
     
  19. Pandachop

    Pandachop Making the rounds.

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    [X] This looks like bad news. Skarzhal circles back and tries to stay as far away from the silver haired figure as possible.
    I'm guessing that the human mage is going to have a suicide technique when facing defeat and it seems like that time might be now.
     
  20. Ragura

    Ragura Not too sore, are you?

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    [X] The humans are in shock and demoralized. Skarzhal stays with the force trying to clear the wall so the rest of the host can advance. They are pushing the humans back towards the middle of the fortresses outer wall.
     
  21. Threadmarks: Chapter 6
    Tore

    Tore Getting out there.

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    I am back! We had a tie so i threw dice.

    [X] The humans are in shock and demoralized. Skarzhal stays with the force trying to clear the wall so the rest of the host can advance. They are pushing the humans back towards the middle of the fortresses outer wall.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The arrival of the silver haired figure and Kepler's escape change determination to desperation and the humans begin to fold. Step by step they are pushed back and more ratlings rise to the walls of Anglagan. The singing has stopped. Skarzhal is cresting the wave of an army of rats, clearing the way for others behind him. They can all smell victory in the air, see it in the face of their foe. A sword breaks to the rock in front of him and Skarzhal lunges forward, ruining the fingers of the man wielding it with his teeth. The man scoots backwards roaring and takes an axe blow to the face for his troubles. His body falls from the wall and vanishes from view.

    Slowly the pressure mounts and suddenly the men break. They flee down the staircases that mark the walls inward facing side and run towards the middle tower seeking other ways down from the wall. It is a rout and the horde of rats charges onward running men down and ripping them to pieces. Skarzhal jumps on a fleeing spearman's back and bites down on his neck. They both go down and land on the wall in a bundle of limbs. Other ratlings come to Skarzhal's aid and together they rip the man's head off his shoulders. The man's eyes stare unseeing into Skarzhal's face and he kicks the head away, shivering. Not today. Whatever happens, i will see it through to the end and live to tell about it. Skarzhal rises up on unsteady legs and the flow of rats takes him with them. It has been a long battle and his feet ache. Even with his keen eyes it is hard to differentiate where precisely the rats begin and the humans end in the darkness. There is just a screaming, rolling mass of meat and metal in front of him that leaves mutilated men in it's wake.

    They are close to the middle tower when everything goes wrong. The world lurches sideways and like a string of a flute, snaps back and vibrates in place. Men and rats alike fall to their knees and claw their eyes and ears as something slithers across their minds like an oil spill on water. Skarzhal collapses and rolls off the wall, falling two steps down the stairs next to him. His thoughts are leaving him, dripping out of a hole in the back of his head and spiraling in to the void. Only apathy and pain remain. Blood runs from his nostrils. I...am...will...what is...me? Stop. Please...
    His pleas go unanswered and his eyes begin to close. There is an emptiness just out of reach ready to take him and carry him to rest.

    "That is quite enough." The Horned Lord's voice carries over the suffering and he strikes his claws together. The ring reverberates through the air and suddenly the world makes sense once more. Skarzhal's thoughts rush back in to his head and he sits up. The Horned Lord stands on the wall. For the first time in this battle there is hate in him. He stands proud, disgust in his face, but his eyes hold pity in equal measure. "I know you, Sorrowborn."

    In front of the Horned Lord stands the silver haired figure. Men and rats alike lay dead around her naked form and her ivory skin is covered in blood. In her hand she holds a sword beautiful in its simplicity and purpose. It is a killing implement and nothing more. Her head lulls on her shoulder and she breaths heavily. Tainted moonlight streams from her eyes and Skarzhal looks away, his mind overcome with terror. The survivors are crawling away from the coming confrontation but Skarzhal can't bring himself to move.

    "What do you seek here, mad elf? Or is there no room for wants in you anymore? Whatever your reasons, this i promise: Before the sun rises i will feed on your corpse," the Horned Lord says with conviction in his voice.

    The elf answers not with words, but with might. All torches go dark and suddenly the moon is behind her shoulder. It is massive, beyond comprehension. The stars are bright around them and breath is stolen from Skarzhal's throat. There is no air to breath and he convulses on the rock. The rock feels warm now, compared to the bitter cold that surrounds them. It worms its way to Skarzhal's heart and whispers of sleep.

    The Horned Lord's voice carries once more through the desolation."I was young during the Sundering and old when the orcs made their way to these shores. One day i will sleep my last and i will go clawing in to the night. It is not this day. I pity you, Mad Herald of Serenity, Lost Prophet of Stillness. I Deny you in all your wretchedness."

    The cold embrace of the stars breaks and the moon vanishes. The elf takes a step back and moans in pain. Her eyes do not shine as bright and her presence is not as stifling as it was just a moment ago. In all ways she is less than she was. She raises her head, eyes filled with rage and explodes forward. The Horned Lord meets her with claw and fury. Twice they clash before the elf is caught by her ankle and the Horned Lord rolls them both to the other side of the wall. They fall among the host and the roar rises.

    High above the fortress of Anglagan, Kepler dries his eyes. He always knew this was coming and yet now that it is upon him to make sure the dead didn't die in vain, his hands tremble. He begins to draw runic arrays to the air, that correspond to those drawn decades ago in to the surrounding mountain faces. If nothing else, the dead will have a tomb worthy of their deeds. It feels like he just begun when he is finished, the weight of untold hours of practice guiding his fingers. He snaps the last rune in place and begins to turn the array. High in the mountain tops and cliff faces, the runic arrays activate and massive chunks of rock begin to fall on the Host of Hunger and the fortress of Anglagan.

    Skarzhal runs as fast as his legs can carry him. Behind him the mountains fall from the sky. He was lucky to be next to the stairs when the rocks began to fall and he quickly made his mind. There was only one direction with a chance of salvation and the elf had largely cleared it for him already. Men and rats run around him in the darkness, too scared and tired to spend any energy on each other. The world shakes with the impacts of millions of tonnes of rock and he is thrown off his feet. He rolls down hill, in to the Kingdom of Dale and feels every rock and thorny bush in his hide. When his aching body finally gives out and his feet stop working, he is alone.

    The Horned Lord surveys the catastrophe and smiles. The fortress of Anglagan is gone. In its place is a small mountain of rock that stretches across the hole valley. There is no passing that now, especially with equipment and supplies. His host is in tatters, the dead too numerous to count. Less than half of the army survived and thousands of ratlings lie under the unforgiving rock. He lifts the elf's still warm corpse and takes a bite. There is work ahead now and precious little else in his future but he can't help but feel exited. "Next time, there won't be any mountains left to drop. What will you do then, i wonder?"

    "I don't think the wizard is going to hear you from here sir," the only surviving Ancient one says as he lays down next to his liege. "And if he did, i don't think he would be in a jesting mood."

    The Horned Lord turns to look at his underling and snorts. "Way to ruin my moment Zremdik. Got any other wise observations lingering in your thick skull?"

    Zremdik ponders for a moment and then says, "Well it just came to me that i have never tasted elf before. Throw me a bone and we'll see if can come up with something useful." An elf leg bounces from his skull and he shouts in indignation.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    What will Skarzhal do now? He is alone in a foreign and hostile land, in an area that will most likely soon be full of enemy soldiers. He is very quick and small, so not all is lost.

    [ ] Spend some time in the woods and heal. Seeking shelter and food away from the humans is a priority. This area will be full of troops soon enough.
    [ ] He will seek a town or settlement as fast as possible. There might be maps or other useful information to be had.
    [ ] He will try to find out where the surviving humans are and where they are heading. Some men where able to make it out of the fortress.
    [ ] He will stay and look for other surviving ratlings. Not many made it out, because the humans where already crowding the stairs, but some probably did.
    [ ] write in
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2019
  22. tellion

    tellion I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    [X] He will seek a town or settlement as fast as possible. There might be maps or other useful information to be had.
     
  23. Tore

    Tore Getting out there.

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    It seems you guessed correctly =). You rolled pretty fricking well. If you had gotten gotten under 50 (from hundred) you would have been hurt during the escape. I was being generous, but if you had rolled ten or under you would have died and we would have continued with a different character. There where some other long term effects from the decisions made during the battle, but i will give some details in the next update.
     
  24. Pandachop

    Pandachop Making the rounds.

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    [X] Spend some time in the woods and heal. Seeking shelter and food away from the humans is a priority. This area will be full of troops soon enough.
     
  25. McLuvin

    McLuvin Versed in the lewd.

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    [X] He will seek a town or settlement as fast as possible. There might be maps or other useful information to be had.
     
  26. Threadmarks: Chapter 7
    Tore

    Tore Getting out there.

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    Short note on the effects of the battle: Due to your decision to move closer to the elf, you have been influenced two times now by magic that creates a domain and brings it to reality. The first ability/magic you will develop will be a domain of some sort or a way to survive or break domains.

    [X] He will seek a town or settlement as fast as possible. There might be maps or other useful information to be had.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    When Skarzhal woke up the sun was already high in the sky. The light streamed through the bush Skarzhal was resting under and created pretty patterns on the rocks. For a long moment he just lay on his stomach. Aches and pains began to show themselves and he let out a quiet moan. His ribs hurt and his head throbbed. At some point in the battle he had lost two claws from his right front paw and the toes were sticky with dried blood. Hopefully they grow back fast. I happen to need all of them. His thoughts were slow and his mind felt like it was floating. Slowly Skarzhal gathered himself and stood up on four feet. The rocks embrace had not been soft and he shook his limbs to get the blood flowing. He was at the same time tired to the bone and filled with feverish, nervous energy. Above all he was hungry. Spots danced in his vision as he began the long task of descending towards the forest.


    The mountainside was quiet. Little streams of water flowed down and joined larger ones and in the valley below they became a roaring river. The sun glistened from wet rocks and the bushes had begun to sprout first hints of green. The sight of water made Skarzhal aware of his thirst and the rat made his way to a small stream. His tongue felt like a piece of dry wood and he dipped his snout in the water, drinking greedily. The water was ice cold and he reveled in the feeling of it running over his gums. Gods, how can water be this good? Was it always this amazing? When Skarzhal had sated his thirst he continued down towards the forest. A road followed the river and vanished among the trees and Skarzhal kept a watchful eye on the road in case any humans decided to show themselves. He had no interest in encountering angry men with sharp swords and a bad disposition towards his kind.

    Skarzhal was most of the way down when he noticed a group of riders emerging from the shade of the trees. They rode along the road in good order but there was a tangible tension in the way they held themselves. Hands never strayed far from sword hilts and the men were silent and alert. The column was heading up the mountain road to inspect the ruins of Anglagan. The flag of the Kingdom of Dale, a striking eagle on a blue background, swung in the light breeze on the head of the column. Skarzhal lowered himself to the ground and scooted under a fairly dense bush. He held utterly still and waited. Blood thundered in his ears as he tried to quiet the growling of his stomach.

    Finally the humans had reached a distance Skarzhal considered safe and he was able to breath with out fear. The mountainside was fairly bare and movement would be easy to see if the humans happened to look back which presented a nasty problem. He decided to wait for a moment or two and then make a dash for it. He was almost at the edge of the spruce trees that made up the forest. After looking at the humans moving in the distance one too many times and almost abandoning the hole idea he broke into a run. The entire way down he imagined eyes boring down on him, men shouting and turning their horses around, spears glinting in the sun light. Counter to his worries, nothing happened and he vanished safely among the trees.

    The forest was alive. Little birds flitted from tree to tree and squirrels roamed freely. The underbrush was filled with life. Skarzhal was to his own surprise, quite shaken. The forests he had roamed in had been silent, devoid of any pray. They had been picked clean of anything edible by desperate ratlings and this new situation felt wrong somehow. How can there be such abundance? Skarzhal's snout twitched in recognition. He shook of his discomfort and began to stalk a rabbit. Standing around would not help his aching stomach. The shadows cast by the trees made his small brown form vanish among the tree trunks and he sneaked after his prey.

    Bone marrow was quite delicious, Skarzhal thought as he finished off his second rabbit. Catching them had been easier than he had thought and the hunt had payed off. He was laying on a tuft of moss, lazily snacking on the bones and listening the forest around him. This was a foreign place to him and sometimes he heard large animals moving through the underbrush. He had even seen a large four legged thing with giant antlers! It had looked a bit angry and Skarzhal had made a tactical retreat in to the treetops when he had laid eyes on it. Scary and weird creatures everywhere. The sun was slowly beginning to set and the darkness brought to mind yesterdays events. Skarzhal's little paws shook as he really thought about the battle for the first time. He had come so close to death many times over. If he closed his eyes he could hear the screaming of the dying around him, echoing in his skull. It was a miracle he was alive. Everyone I knew, even in passing, is most likely dead. For all his good advice and nerves of steel the stranger died like all the rest. The thought made him uneasy. Before this he had never been alone. There had always been other ratlings around when he went to sleep. His mood now thoroughly ruined, Skarzhal curled up on the moss. His dreams were filled with bloodshed and armed men hunted him through the woods, giving him no respite.

    Bad dreams aside, the morning found Skarzhal well rested. After making sure there were no large antler monsters creeping among the trees around him, he sat on the moss to think. I have to move. No matter how much I would like to rest and heal, I need information. An ignorant rat is a dead rat and I don't even know where i am at the moment. But where to go? Skarzhal pondered this question for sometime, until he remembered the human town they had passed on the way to the battlefield. The humans lived in large constructed dwellings, like The Horned Lords in Kharakbar. A town! They must have something i could use. But where could i find one...? The road and the river, of course! Everyone needs water.

    His mind decided, Skarzhal gathered his aching feet under him and headed towards the road. He began to follow the river downstream and kept close to the road. He didn't dare use the road though. A group of riders might surprise him and Skarzhal did not fancy his chances. Marching was not a new experience to him and Skarzhal made good time, stopping to catch some squirrels every once in a while, when his stomach demanded it. There was no true hurry and he was still a bit hungry. Insects buzzed in the air and small birds swooped among the spruces to catch them. By midday thirst showed itself again. Crossing the road to drink from the river was scary and Skarzhal felt very exposed on the riverbank. Every noise made his fur stand on end, but once again, no ill fate fell on him.

    The first town Skarzhal lay his eyes on, was quickly discarded as a possible location to snoop around in. It was completely militarized, with armed men walking the walls and a killing ground cleared of trees around the town. There were even wooden towers along the wall. The river narrowed here and a large bridge was laid across to the other side. To Skarzhal, it looked like a town that had been turned in to a military outpost. Outside the walls tents filled the cleared ground and very active looking patrols circled the area. This was clearly the last stop for units heading to Anglagan. There was no way for him to sneak in while avoiding detection so Skarzhal kept far away from any patrols and continued following the river.

    By the time night was falling Skarzhal came upon a small village. There were around thirty buildings of different sizes and muddy fields stretched all around the village. Most importantly, there were no walls. Silently, like ghost, Skarzhal crept in to the village. The people were asleep and the hole place had a sort of tranquil quality to it. Just a day and a half's journey away from the war and it looked like these people might not even know one was going on at the moment. The buildings where made from large trunks of wood and some of them had been painted with different colors. It was all very strange, Skarzhal thought. A dog barked on the other side of the village and Skarzhal almost pissed himself in fright. No thank you, I'm going to stay well away from you and your teeth. Some of the buildings had large and fancy signs on them but their purpose eluded Skarzhal. He chose one large two story building that smelled good and peeked through the window. Inside was a large hall filled with chairs and tables. The back wall was filled with cabinets and a long counter was placed in front of them, dividing the space. There were closets and shelves on the other walls as well and one corner had a large pile of saddlebags. That made sense. Skarzhal could hear horses on the other side of the building.

    Quietly, Skarzhal sneaked through the front door. The hinges were well oiled and made no sound. His first impression was that the place was tidy and well cared for. For a moment he just listened and sniffed. Nothing disturbed him and he did not smell any signs of dogs, so he started his search. Climbing the walls to reach the shelves did not seem wise, at least not yet so he started with the saddlebags. Luck was with him and the second saddlebag he searched contained a satchel filled with scrolls. They reminded him of the scrolls he had seen the stranger carrying and Skarzhal's little heart was filled with joy. He chewed through the leather bindings that attached the satchel to the saddlebags and carried his treasure outside in his teeth. What now? Some food and a place to sleep would be nice. Skarzhal looked around him with critical eye and headed back towards the fields. At the edge of town, next to the road, there had been a large barn filled with grain. No one would notice if I took a bite or three.

    The barn was truly a wondrous thing, Skarzhal thought. A building filled with food. He had nudged his way inside under the door and left his satchel in a corner close to the entrance. Currently, he was up in the loft, contently stuffing his snout with the grain the humans had so thoughtfully collected for him. A sudden noise made him freeze. Slowly he turned his head and looked down. A girl had just ran inside. Skarzhal could not tell how old she was, he had not seen human females close up before but he was fairly sure she was not an adult. her terror stricken face was framed with black curls and her eyes were wild, searching for a place to hide. She saw the ladder leading to the loft and made a run for it. She did not make it. A man ran through the barn doors and snatched her from the ladder. They went down with a shout and a fight broke out on the floor. Another man came in behind the first, holding a small lantern, and closed the doors behind him. The men had swords in their belts.

    Skarzhal looked at the events unfolding below him in confusion. Why are the humans hurting each other? The men had easily held the girl down and both parties were shouting at each other in a language Skarzhal did not recognize. The girl was very afraid and she smelled of desperation and hate. Something was building in the air and Skarzhal's fur stood on end. Suddenly the girl headbutted one of the men holding her down and broke his nose. Blood spurted down on to the girls face and the mans partner kicked her multiple times in the ribs. The man with the broken nose punched the girl and roared something. The other man put down his backpack and pulled out a hammer. When the girl saw the hammer she began to trash and curse. The man with the broken nose tried to hold her still and she bit down on the mans hand. Tears flowed from her eyes and Skarzhal felt kinship to a human for the first time in his short life. He would cling to life to the bitter end as well. The tension was almost unbearable now and Skarzhal's skin felt too small for his body. Finally Skarzhal recognized the feeling. The Nameless gods were watching and divinity was gathering inside this barn in the middle of nowhere.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Decision time. What you do here will have far reaching consequences.
    [ ] Skarzhal will wait and see what happens
    [ ] Skarzhal will help the girl and attack the men who are about to kill her. He will jump from the loft and try to tear out the hammer wielding mans throat.
    [ ] Skarzhal will help the girl and attack the men who are about to kill her. He will jump down and attack the man with the broken nose.
    [ ] Help by distracting the men by making noise.
    [ ] The men are focused on the girl. Skarzhal will use this chance to escape.
    [ ] Write in.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
    SpadeofPain and McLuvin like this.
  27. McLuvin

    McLuvin Versed in the lewd.

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    [x] Skarzhal will help the girl and attack the men who are about to kill her. He will jump from the loft and try to tear out the hammer wielding mans throat.
     
  28. Akshka

    Akshka Getting out there.

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    [X] Skarzhal will help the girl and attack the men who are about to kill her. He will jump from the loft and try to tear out the hammer wielding mans throat.
    Go for the biggest threat.
    See if we can take the hammer for ourselves
     
  29. Threadmarks: Chapter 8
    Tore

    Tore Getting out there.

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    [x] Skarzhal will help the girl and attack the men who are about to kill her. He will jump from the loft and try to tear out the hammer wielding mans throat.
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    There was no time for contemplation. Skazhal lunged from the loft at the man wielding the hammer. He latched on to the mans chest and the man fell on his back screaming in fright. The hammer flew in to the shadows. Skarzhal’s teeth searched for the mans throat and latched on. For a sweet moment Skarzhal tasted victory on his tongue. Then the man rolled over and his arms found Skarzhal’s throat. Skarzhal quickly found himself pinned in place, slowly losing his grip on the mans throat. In his peripheral vision, Skarzhal could see the other man pounding the girls face in, bouncing her skull from the gravel floor. Blood was flowing from the mans ear. The air in the barn was whirling, the presence of divinity bearing down on them.

    Skarzhal’s teeth slipped from the mans throat. Bugger. Blood dripped on his face, but not enough of it. He clawed the hands pinning his neck, parting flesh and causing the man to roar in pain. The gathering pressure snapped and Skarzhal’s ears popped. He felt the forces circling them all flow to the girl. Her spine went taunt and a seizure passed through her form.

    Wrath.

    The girl moved with liquid, horrifying grace. Her body contorting, limbs snaking their way to crush the mans rib-cage. Suddenly she was on top, squeezing the life from her attacker. Unhinged mutterings flowed from her lips. Skarzhal watched from the corner of his eye, in detached fascination, as the mans ribs popped. Breathless sounds tried to escape from the mans throat as his lungs were crushed. The edges of Skarzhal’s vision had begun to blur. There was no air left in his lungs and he continued to claw weakly, drawing bloody lines to the hands squeezing his windpipe. Would it be too much to ask, if I prayed for only kid sized opponents? The crack of a skull splattering finally made the man look at the other combatants. He met the girls eyes and cursed. The man jumped up, fiddling with his sword belt. Blessed air flowed to Skarzhal’s lungs and he coughed weakly on the floor.

    The girl pulled the sword from the waist of her kill and moved over the body like a spider, her form moving like the thing inhabiting it was not used to its human shell. She stood up and Skarzhal got the firs uninterrupted look at her face. Bloody hell's, is she related to that fucking elf? She was beat bloody, bruises already forming. Her face and chest were covered in blood and viscera. The green eyes that had been wild before, had something dark lurking in them. The thing behind those eyes hated the living and cherished the dead. Skarzhal shook and curled up, making himself as small as possible. The girl said something in that strange tongue these humans used and the man flinched. She giggled hysterically, a deranged smirk on her face and lurched forward.

    The man backed away and the fear was in him. Even so he was no amateur. He kept his guard up, his sword pointed at the girl. She stepped over Sarzhal and moved in for the kill. The man struck fast looking to run her through. The girl side stepped the thrust and steel flashed twice in the small light cast by the lonely lamp. Two arms fell to the floor and the man collapsed screaming in pain and fear. The girl dropped her sword and skittered on top of the trashing man. She began to beat him to death. She was roaring and raving now, past all reason. Her fists crushed bone and battered pieces of skull and brain matter all over the floor. Skarzhal kept quiet. She seems to have this in hand, no need for my help. Better to survey from a reasonably distance. A piece of bone flew past Skarzhal’s snout. He scooted backwards.

    Slowly the roaring transformed to wailing and tears. The girl fell on her side and rolled away from the ruin of a corpse she had made with her fists. It sounded like she was laughing, crying and hiccuping at the same time. Skarzhal peered at her from his hiding place, behind a wooden column. Their eyes met and the girls laughter rose in pitch. She swiped the hair from her face and stared at Skarzhal. The shadows hid her expression, moving in sync with the dying flame of the oil lamp. She said something in her foreign tongue and shook her head. Skarzhal stared back. Slowly the girl rose to her wobbly feet. Heart beating like a drum, Skarzhal watched her approach.

    Arms circled Skarzhal and lifted him in the air. Please don’t rip my arms off. I need them. A teary, bloody face filled with incredulity and wonder looked at him. The girl hugged Skarzhal to her chest and sat down, leaning against the wooden column. She began to stroke his back and buried her face in his fur.
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    Three decisions this time! What will Skarzhal do?
    Immediate situation (1):
    [ ] Skarzhal will do nothing.
    [ ] Skarzhal will relax and enjoy the petting. Mybe even lick the girls cheeks.
    [ ] The petting is nice, but there is all this food lying around.
    [ ] Skarzhal will panic and try to escape the girls clutches
    [ ] Write in

    Where will Skarzhal and the girl spend the night (2)?
    [ ] They will stay in the barn
    [ ] Set out to the woods as fast as they are able.
    [ ] The girl will seek help from the village while Skarzhal hides (might be difficult, you don't really understand each other right now)
    [ ] Write in

    What will they do with the bodies? They are quite heavy and neither the girl nor the rat is very large (3).
    [ ] They will hide them in the barn and sweep away the evidence.
    [ ] They will bury them somewhere close buy.
    [ ] Write in
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  30. McLuvin

    McLuvin Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
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    [x] Skarzhal will relax and enjoy the petting. Mybe even lick the girls cheeks.
    [x] They will stay in the barn
    [x] They will bury them somewhere close buy.
     
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