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Archive for December, 2008

Came they murmurs along the Old Bend Road; to Grove, to Church, on Godsday morning.  Heroes smashed, lifeless rising and what hear we now, the loss of Ogre’s bane?  Flow’d and mixing blending this wind of chorus’d worry did wash the heat from Hommlet,  and usher fell chills from Bellringer’s Feast.  Among oak pews and on bluegrass’d lawns did the chill hasten, sad tales of yesters eve binding shared view from pulpit and pole.  Pride, did Canon cry, exacted fair price;  fresh  delvers slain by hubris of fair deed.  Tempted were they by Fortunes varied play, so fairly counseled circles fifth Initiate, and leaving Brewmeister’s walk did fated Freecastle find Chances curtains aside.  Warded from gaze of Ralishaz the circle drew sage wisdom from pains fresh lesson.  And thus arising from their oaken pews, walking from bluegrass’d field of pleasant grove, fielded joints rumbling from harvest cycles, mistaking lesson’s learn’d with courage earn’d the farmers, of Church, of field roamed home.  One  comfort soft stood proof to common chill: kin Freecastle, concern’d for weeping widow with justice did describe lost brothers deeds.  How else but Mayaheine’s need could march the Castle free and on to seventh plane?  Yet as with years anon did such wisdom not carry past Freecastles inner demesnes, whilst Wenta blew free Fears’ chilling whisper, unmet across the Hommlet rolling hills.  Where hero’s rejoinder some voices asked?  Lost, lost to shame some voices sweet did say, paved secret their way by fell’d temple in bloody gold and lusts freedom unbound.  To this untruth no challenge remained.

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Nine now there was to blaze the moathouse just, embolden’d by their new found fame they were! Tonguely and Zert, Rufus and Kai and Orr’n, Selaphora walking by and close, flank’d too by Luther brave head high and Moonleaf, returned by his good friends love. All these warden’d wide by a runners eye, Farthammer, of the wild coast guarded close by. Gain drawbridge, gain hall, and gain again stairs; saw there no sign of treachery foul they, in freshman bravery, to larder Lubash went! Beyond, beyond now down more stairs spill’d they, and doom made they rushing onward. Foolish!

The Grinder begins

The Grinder begins

Gnolls here made good their threats of red revenge. Sprung was theirs first feather’d traps did fly to home, as iron jaw clench’d to snap the party twain. First Kai leapt brave to glory’s side striking left now right to clear the trail of foe! Yet fail’d her friends to form the timely line, to melee her alone the Gnolls snared, scoring wounds grave past names of blue’d ancestry. Zert, to adventure fresh did come too soon, and fall gath’ring shares of shafte laurels. Oh the warped gnolls harp did sing timely! To that tune came Orrin running bravely, worried for his true friends health unproofed. Wounded, healing, wounded again was he. To this call’d Selaphora crying, trap’d! Trapped and sunder’d from good friends we! And gnollish blades rejoic’d the coming bane!

Those shut fast ‘hind iron wrought freedom quick. Belts, ropes leverag’d fast, arms arm’d in twisting, three men work’d the trick to breaking their own, and so rush’d dropped bars to save their friends. Rufus left, Luther right the fight they join’d, braving feather’d marshal flights in true form. Finally freed did Farthammer spring to flight, leasing back and quick those shafts Gnollish sprung and so flung back to gnolls a promis’d bane. Where Kai did fall to place did Luther rise. Where Orrin fell did Rufus hell extract. Moonleaf, stunn’d by ferocious fang’d foe, did extend Orrin’s first handed rescue, and reach’d Tonguely’s help yond the desp’rate fray. Out came Zert, out came Kai by druid’s kind hand, but lifeblood runneth quick, and following said trail did Kai now ‘tain her people’s grace.

Act Second releas’d, and ill received now our troupes fine play wore tired down. Yet here to dismay’d cries did foe reprise, and bring crashing down our bands hop’d triumph. For to said fray did they call the Bugbears, demons foul wrought in racked wombs equipp’d, birthed to the ancient wizards’ evil. Their bare members bared in strong retort for sport the ‘Bugs flung back the Gnolls retreat, forcing second guessing from our fair group. Too did Zert the newcome friend choose this time to show true color to his new found friends. Like dawn in hell he rose, unfetter’d, to run through elvin frame to hilt cold iron, spilling he to the killing floor Tonguely, and there the fair mage expired. This villian then fled through the bended gate, closing it with brook of mage’s dead frame.

Moonleaf, Unawares of dear friends passage, cognizant now of dangers fore and aft, tender work’d poor Tonguely through the iron bars to more the mend this breach with ally Kai. Alive perhaps, alive still for salvation! The whiles our remainder played rearguard cutting careless the Bugbear’s whisker stray’d to close the veteran pole of angry Luther Freecastle or flirted Rufus’ extended blade. Above sang hafts feather’d from angry harps pluck’d tiredly by fingers

A bloody retreat

A bloody retreat

Farthammer, join’d by Celaphora in dirge fearful. Yet onward Bugbears pushed the failing line. And to the ‘hind did Moonleaf find foe plus! Zert, returned, wounded, still eyed gleeful evil demise of our fairly wounded group, and so did suit to slay Moonleaf at once! Down, defenseless Moonleaf dodg’d the angry blow. Zert, foe determin’d did wind another when, wound ’round by sounds treacherous Farthammer’s arrow ultimate ended traitor’s play.

The endplay, o’er strange buzzing Bugbear’s noise did sound a fateful note to friends reduc’d. Arrow mark’d, lessen’d yet still they pressed, worse to show one wove past Luther’s pik’d front, and as hero scrambl’d to a bladed flank did near rend the lad in bloody twain! Luther! Freecastle! Hommlet’s paragon! Dim, dim the light now show’d the bands remain as Rufus, working brother’s memory, worked a weav’d steel violent front. Celaphora div’d first through bended bars, Farthammer to follow on bended knee and, to Rufus’ relief, turned the pike to strike the Bugbears cursed yellow hides.

Oh the sounds, the sighs the horrible cries did follow heroes wounded remainder. Lifeless walls read little to olven eyes, those that still in half measure could espy fresh corpses moving past their final sleep. Horrors fanged, horrors closing to strike!? Flee! Flee! And in cut time to drawbridge fly! There did bloody trunk’d party rest, no! Exhausted, chasten’d, hasten’d by foul memoirs they scream’d away from that cursed moathouse.

And now there were four.

XP: Six Hundred and Sixty Six 🙂

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Tiredly to the redoubt of Lubash they made their way. Smashed in combat, the door. Smashed too the table. Scattered and littered, battered and abandon’d utensils pots and pans to victual bands human and proper, for here did no fit person abide. Rufus they led away, so badly bled by said ogre for succor dear Orrin made parley divine. And what remains did remaining find! Torn ‘twain, innards suck’d, mangl’d, indeed chew’d a gnome did once cry foul the giant’s delight. But this here – another door!? The portal’s wards stretched thin with fear, wrung dry by hunger, beaten soft for the eas’d appetites of monsters – and still they breath’d! two merchants of Dyvers shown, themselves remaining of a caravan, carrying once quantities known, there spilled again ‘cross campfire to Celaphora; teamster’s receiver. And so ‘cross the bloody floor the party lead them, laden now with treasure rich and solemn – the truth. Up stairs, across the moat again the party walked, mem’ries full of awful stories; of ambush and slaughter! Simple folk do swarm to truth as moths to flame dancing. So fluttering they waited outside the door, the mass of Hommlet’s laz’d farmers wondering, that Celaphora did retreat from sober telling within to spin fancies without. And as freedmen and serf did cheer the Ogre’s Bane, elder and adventurer work’d a different frame, spilling truth of actions next from rear windows in Boccob’s silent way. How else to histories weave doth march the heroes, but quiet?

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Indeed the elders, mailed, hand to fist, girded, through rain and some besides, brought by the tales of Savage Kai.  She, swift of foot did fly the scarce rutted path, drawing over the hills behind a phalanx wall of rain.  Grim and grey did the Hommlet men respond in learned tones.  First jerkin and sleeve, on surcoat on greaves, on mail and scabbard, shield to arm now ready.  Steady then to secrecy’s yolk, pulling to the trail mud washed not cart alone but knowings painful sting best silent kept.  The eye, the eye!!  Returned now in its gaze?  Let fear blaze the warpath forward, and at moat house find now solemn members of our band.  Evidence abounding: a second Reaping to the lost Barleycorns tide, dead secrets standing light of day, and to all this add the ogre’s bane!?  The elder men did nod, did swap gaze to look to knowing glance, lock’d there by history sure as the drizzling phalanx wall above did misty arms entwine to drench that dreadful pile.

And did band humble join in humble fight, to slog with load’d cart, push to the pull of mud and weed back Hommlet ways?  Nay say I the spinster in tir’d tone of truth, for sooth they now saw out only through ways further in.  Yet bouncing above that dripping truck the grin of Lubash played, rain washing his blood to seed the swamp fresh with bloody repast.

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Sore did his runner’s sense vex him, and Rufus could not haul but one box more.  “Cease!” cried he, “Forgotten have we the bane gone hiding past oil and debris?  Did not you see the Gnoll, slathering hungry?  Did not you hear the Other, the tongue to excite the Runner’s hope of glory in Giant Class gore – to which” added he “addeth me one pip of damage true!?”

Such eloquence did stun his brethren to compliance.  Touched especially Orrin, by such true verse did rouse himself from exhaustion to join the Runner axe in hand.  Whack-Crack, Nick Nack the axes did cry!  What ho, oh no the Other espied in messages cruel and frightful!  Soon through they were the scary door to find barred the way again.  At this did line the volley; Celaphora, more rogue than ‘prentice wizardling, again to the bow and joined by Tonguely,  ‘prentice cum master true of the dart.

The weary anger of Orrin did quick the teen exhaustion of Rufus.  “Zounds!” cried the dwarf, lodging his helm to the blocking door, bringing it down upon him.  So then did finally Rufus see Lubash, ogre indeed and ready for he!  Wait?  Think not?  Retreat?  Never!  Charging, the toppled door his ramp did Rufus scale to strike!  Ready in fear did answer the ogre Lubash and swinging, did cast like dice the humbled runner ‘side.  Who next to maw of doom did throw but Luther’s own, singing he the poleaxe three in martial discord!  Rufus?  Lubash!  Luther? Lubash!  Bracing past the toppled door (to whit in honesty assay do I that Orrin, poor Earthling, did suffer still beneath) the runner hop’d to find flank.  Rufus?  LUBASH!  Out flank’d he by longer polearm tree did Rufus fall to foul ogre’s branch!

Zounds indeed!  Fallen brother, kin and runner, answer true of the Gnarley forest! Young party’s  prayer, he that wallowed not in well vers’d tactics of cowardice, but to his name did live in glory.  Rufus!  Wounded!  Desperate now the arrows fall in chorus of two and three, and from Tonguely the bloody darts counterposed, yet fought on still the ogre.  Madden’d in desperation did those long trees swing wild, and find our sole standing woodsmen his chance.  Long to branch in autumns eve doth swing the farmer’s handle, and in finish did lop the head from Lubash: portcullis foul of the dungeon yon.

xp: 195

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