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gwangi32

Swords against Chaos

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"Well, I am a scout and woodsman, and my associate is a walking engine of destruction......, although he seems interested in hunting down a vampire that has given him insult....."

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The Cryer thinks a moment and then says "We will be hiring for the next week, go to the town constables office if you want to join the Baron's Quest."

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and now the game earns it's name

 

As you walk into the town it seems a pleasant place. A river port and a prime ferry crossing there is a more welcome feeling here than would be typical of the towns of the Empire. In the air is the smell of meat pastries, sausage and beer. The mid day meal has been laid out for some.

 

Then the peace is disturbed. The alarm bell is being rung. Back from where you entered the town there is commotion. "Beastmen, death, the fiends of Chaos!" a man screams hysterically. Running into the town, and down the street. He passes you and continues his litany of fear. Others are beginning to gather in the street.

 

Then you here the thunder of drums and the scream of horns. Horrible noises that send a shiver down your spine. And back from the direction of the wall you see that men and women have gathered. They are drawing arrows and loading crossbows. There are perhaps twenty of them so far. Yet most people are moving away from the wall. The pitiful four foot wall, with no real gate! Most people are running toward the river as it becomes apparent that the town will soon be attacked.

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Ragnar first hears the cries of warning as he is lifting his tenth beer of the day, if one could call it beer. It's so damn watery a dog could drink twelve without falling over, he thinks disgustedly.

 

Beastmen, death, the fiends of Chaos!"

 

Is the cry that brings the mighty Trollslayer out of his funk. His eyes gleam wickedly as he drains the rest of the beer in one long drought. Visions of bloodshed and violence begin to dance in his mind as he rushes out the tavern door, knocking it half off its hinges in his haste to join the fight.

 

When he is outside, he hears the drums and horns and maddening cries of Beastmen. Beastmen, By Grugni! It has been a while since Ragnar has faced an enemy that fights with a ferocity that is close to his own. His blood surges, heart racing wildly as he throws back his head and answers their warcries with one of his own.

 

"RRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WILL SWIM IN YER BLOOD, FOUL SPAWN OF CHAOS!!!!!! BY GRIMNIR'S AXE, SCORES WILL FALL BEFORE ME!!!!!!!!!! I AM RAGNAR OLEGSSON AND I AM YOUR DOOM!!!!"

 

That said, he rushes the wall and begins to climb it.

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Otto You are not alone in the thought to block the opening. A stout barrel is rolled into place, it is filled with water. You assist a farmer moving his two wheeled cart into a defensive position as well. You can hear the thrum of released bowstrings and the bellows of chaotic agony. Having blocked the entry some of the people run off toward the docks. But a sparse defence is in place. Crossbowmen and archers are letting loose. Some thirty of these perhaps. The irregular militia is in place; with spears, pikes, halberds and swords, perhaps another thirty. Then you turn to look out at the horde streaming across the fields. Human sized, horned and hairy things are first. Running forward on goatlike hind legs but with wolfish heads these creatures are within 100 feet of the wall. And they are in numbers greater than the defenders. Behind them are bull headed creatures and most frightening of all is a monstrosity; it has a huge oxlike body with an ogres torso added, and it holds a massive ax that shimmers with foul magic. This blood colored creature is not charging in but it's presence is more terrifiying that the charging beastmen. It takes a gut check to keep from fleeing. But you don't, though the choice is open to you. At this point a new group arrives at the wall from within the city. Roaring past you and vaulting the wall is a maddly screaming Ragnar. And outside the wall circling up from you left is a group of 15 mounted handgunners. A group of road wardens, 10 in all including Captain Fidelian arrive. All are armed with pistols, crossbows and swords.

 

Captain Fidelian slaps you on the back, "Otto, joins us here at the gate, we plan to hold this until the Knights are ready and then we'll move it out of the way."

 

Ragnar This is easier for you. No temper to control, no deep thinking, human humor, no regrets for lost honor. You are lost in the bloodlust of a Trollslayer. Live or die it will be a time with no thoughts but battle.

 

You are alone in the charge but the arrows and bolts of the humans have thined out the creatures you know to be gors, lesser beastmen. Your axe smashes the chest of the first creature you meet. You recieve a glancing blow to the shoulder but in return you hew off the creature's arm. None of the lesser beastmen seem inclined to do battle with you.

 

But a larger monster does desire the battle. A minotaur comes charging your way. But, do you pursue your first prey, the lesser beastmen or should you meet the challenge of the minotaur. Pistol fire behind you but much closer than the wall indicates that you have allies in the field, not just hiding behind the wall.

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Ragnar lets loose a series of gutteral cries and snarls as he cuts his way through the gors. His arms and chest are slick with the crimson blood of his victims, but his hands still grip his axe with an iron grip as he turns to meet the minotaur's charge. He bares his teeth as he swings low at the beast, attempting to undercut the bull-man and bring him down to dwarf-eye level.

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Otto The beastmen are so thick you can't miss. Arrows, bolts and bullets smash into the flesh of the advancing horde. The gors are being used as a living shield for the more formidible beastmen. You are struck with the thought that there is no stopping this charge. They are only 50 feet away, some of the militia lose their nerve and run. Curses of fear and frustration fall from the lips of the men nearest to you.

 

One of your bolts transfixes a gor and it falls to be trampled. You can't see Ragnar anymore. Panic begins to rise in your chest. Then theere are Imperial Hornes and a group of Knights Panther hits the flank of the Beastman charge. There is a moment...the Knights have surprise, they crush through the ranks. But they are heavily outnumbered, and their charge slows. The mounted handgunners throw themselves into the fray but then the monstrosity you had seen before attacks the Knights, it's massive ax crushes through an armored knight and his horse. And within moments the demoralized KNights are swapped by a tide of Beastmen.

 

At the wall is shock and then men are running. "We should fall back to the river," says Captain Fidelian, "we might be able to slow them down in the houses."

 

Ragnar You are isolated in an individual battle. The minotaur charges and you dodge, sending a mighty blow with your ax through the defense of the beast. Wounded and angry it catches you with a backstroke of the huge tree branch it is using as a weapon. Then there is a pause in your fight. Knights Panther have entered the battle. This pause is brief...

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Ragnar staggers a bit as the tree branch connects with his crested head. Blood flows freely from the wound and mixes with the gore and ichor that covers the dwarf's body. This serves to make the four-foot engine of destruction even madder. He spits on the ground and snarls "Yer gonna pay fer that, ya ugly, goblin sniffin' cow!," as he readies his axe for another mighty swing.

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Alrighty then, this cost you a bit of luck but you will at least live long enough to make another choice

 

OTTO You leap over the wall as the defence crumbles. You have a companion out there and if you're going to die might as well walk the road to Morr's Domain with a friend. But, a bit of fortune falls your way. Frenzied by the retreat the beastmen pursue the fleeing townsmen. The field is still crowded with gor and ungor but they are more interested in easy prey than with you.

 

You now see the Trollslayer Ragnar, bloodied but not dead. The minotaur is about to deliver a death blow as Ragnar lifts his axe to make a mutual kill, obviously maddened beyond thought. You take a chance and fire your crossbow at the minotaur. Your bolt sinks into the beast's throat. Distracted the minotaur misses it's strike. Not so Ragnar.

 

Ragnar You couldn't flee from a lone challenge and it looked as if your doom had come. An ancient dwarven weapon master had said if the warrior does not cloud his mind with defense, and accepts his death, that he can kill any opponent. Wounded and maddened you had decided that the minotaur would die, no matter what and you sprang, aiming for the throat. The minotaur was swinging it's club to crush you, no way to avoid that, even it you cared to. Then there is the briefest pause in the creatures swing. But not in yours. The axe tears through, blood fountains and you are still alive.

 

Both Otto joins Ragnar and you have a moment to decide what to do next. There are more beastmen between you and the town then between you and the forest. But what is in the forest? It appears that ther defence of the town has stiffened up as you hear the crash of a volley of gunfire and human battlecries.

 

Will you go into the forest? Circle around the town and see if you can join the fight fromsomewhere else? Leave the town to it's own defence? Charge the beastmen on the field? Or do something completely different?

 

Please note that you have both taken damage, Ragnar is badly wounded and within ten minutes will require emergency care or will take automatic damage and be incapacitated in twenty minutes.

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"Come on you lunatic! Let us head for the cover of the woods." Otto reloads as he begins moving toward the treeline, but looks back to make certain that Ragnar is following.

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Ragnar stumbles to the minotaur's dead body and swings his axe once more, his mighty arms shivering with the effort. The blow lops off one of the beast's horns, which the Trollslayer picks up and stuffs into his belt. "Makeagooddrinkinhorn..." he mumbles as he sways drunkenly. He spits a long stream of tobacco juice mixed with blood on the lifeless form and stalks toward the woods on uneasy legs.

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Horns and drums call the Beastmen to battle in the town of Frakstein. Two stragglers can make their way into the forest. You pause briefly to bind up Ragnar's worse wounds. But Otto can see that more help will be needed.

 

Then you both jump. "What in the name of Shallaya's Tears is going on out there?" a man asks. He and twenty others have surrounded you. They are dressed in forest hunters clothes. And blended into the background so well that you had not seen them until one spoke to you.

 

"Tell up quick, was there a huge beastie leading this hell pack, with a vile great axe?"

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