To the Southern Continent

As we play, occasionally we'll close a thread and open a new one to keep the size of threads (and relative complexity) down to a dull roar. Here's where we store the closed posts from the history of Errant Road.

Re: To the Southern Continent

Postby Jack Rothwell » January 6th, 2011, 5:10 pm

The creatures were converging on their intended pray from every direction, hastened in their blind fury by the gunshot. As the pair watched, another one came bounding around a dwelling with murder written on it's face. Tamina cringed, cast her eyes around and pointed to a flight of steps leading up a tree trunk.

"Climb!"

Jamie's second shot as they retreated took the monster through the chest, this one actually managed another half dozen snarling steps before the message caught up with its brain that it was dead. It slumped and hit the ground with a muffled thud. Tamina put the number of beasts which had broken the perimeter at a dozen at least. And the sounds from the undergrowth beyond made it clear they weren't the total size of the pack.

They pounded floorboards, climbing around the circular staircase leading to the upper levels of the kobold village. Tamina snatched up a wayward pot and sent it hurtling towards a monstrosity closing the distance between them. Whatever these monsters were, they were fast, and the yellowish tinge to their claws was a definite warning of what being wounded by such creatures might lead to. Their pursuer weaved out of the path of the flying container. Tamina cursed and searched for a spell to aid them; something that was quick to cast.

"Eyo kla dree!"

The monster took to the air in a bounding leap just as her spell took effect. The humanoid's body flashed brightly for an instant and she shot forward with preternatural speed. She brought her foot up to meet the crazed apparition's chest and sent it tumbling backwards over the railing. A loud crash marked it's landing. The glow faded just as quickly as it came.

Tamina racked her brain for a way out, using her magic to escape would only give them enough time to cover a couple of hundred yards, and then they'd have to consider relentlessness of their attackers coupled with the crippling exhaustion of magical overexertion. Even if she channeled in short bursts to fight she'd still be drained quickly by the number racing up the steps behind them. Would Jamie have the reflexes and the bullets to kill the entire mob before getting pounced on? It seemed unlikely.

She saw the solution as they leveled out onto one of the main platforms of the village. The big hut resting on it was one the kobold knew well, it was the tribal leader's, Leli, and the sturdiest fortification in the village outside of the larger meeting hut on the ground floor.

"We can hide inside!" Tamina yelled over another gunshot from the teenager. "Block windows! Block doors! Only chance!"

....................

"Where can i find a guide?"

Gabriel jangled a bag of coins in front of the shopkeeper to secure his undivided attenion. The man's eyes tracked it in a manner the ex-militia Captain found pleasing. Who needed mind control magic when you could bludgeon someone's senses with the prospect of a pay-off?

"Ahh, that depends where you want to go sir."

Gabriel took out a coin and began rolling it between calloused fingers, the man's lips pursed unconsciously.

"The kobold village." Gabriel stated. "From what I gather from the local yahoo's that's where I need to be." Something passed over the man's face at the mention of it, he frowned.

"Don't think you want to go there sir." He leaned forward conspiritorially and dropped his tone to a whisper. "People say there's monsters around those parts. Dangerous ones. Poisonous."

"If I wanted your advice I would've asked for it." Gabriel stated coldly. "Now kindly tell me where the fucking guides are."

The man visibly shrank at the undercurrent of violence in the newcomer's voice. He pointed mutely to a large building just visible at the edge of town.

"The Southern Cross hotel would be your best bet. There's several people who'd take a tourist into the jungle... for the right price." He turned an eye back to the gold piece in the cold man's hand. Gabriel smiled and flicked the coin past the man's shoulder, who made a yelp of surprise and tried to snatch it out the air. He pinwheeled around, caught one foot behind the other and fell neatly into the water at the edge of the gangwalk.

"Thank a lot." Gabriel said.
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
 
Posts: 2361
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: To the Southern Continent

Postby Graybeard » January 7th, 2011, 11:34 pm

"What kind ob trouble?" Keyes probed.

Mr. Cleghorn shook his head. "Like I said, I really don't know. Got something to do with the kobolds, though."

"Kobold?" Keyes parroted, his speech impediment causing him to drop the plural. "I don't tink I know what dey are ... Oh, you mean 'catgirl,' right?"

The innkeeper nodded. "On this continent we prefer the term 'kobold.' Here they're just like any of the other tribes that live out in the wilds, basically minding their own business, they come into town to trade sometimes and that's about it. On your continent, they're used for ... other things."

The distaste that crossed Keyes' face was entirely genuine; Mr. Stagpoole's business had a clientele that one might euphemistically describe as "eclectic," but he drew the line at certain things, and the sex-slave trade was one of them. "Tho dey are. We don't want any part ob dat. It intereting, doh -- we're tinking ob trying to get tome trade etabithed wit dem." One of them, anyway. "Ip dey're habing tome kind ob trouble dat pill over into town, we probably want to know about it. Got any idea por tomeone to talk to about it?"

Mr. Cleghorn thought for a minute. "There's a lifemage that's seen a couple of kobolds, as I understand it. They might know something there." He gave directions.

"Tank a lot," Keyes smiled, and set off for the clinic, passing on the way a rough-looking man who was heading for the Southern Cross and looked strangely familiar. The two didn't exchange words as they headed in their opposite directions, and it took Keyes a while to figure out who he'd seen.

Gabriel, that's the man's name. He's from Port Lorrel ... and he's trouble. He quickened his steps just the slightest bit toward town.
----
Image
Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
 
Posts: 7050
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: To the Southern Continent

Postby Jack Rothwell » January 8th, 2011, 6:44 am

Tamina and Jamie burst into Leli's hut and wheeled around just in time to slam the door closed on one of the feral kobolds as it leapt after them. The wooden portal shuddered with the impact despite the weight of the two women leaning against it. Tamina gritted her teeth, desperately holding the entrance closed while Jamie jammed planks and wooden wedges into the frame to seal it shut. The creature outside roared in frustration and began hammering away with its bare fists; the door held firm.

"Windows!"

There was no time to react, a dozen feet from the pair one exploded inwards as a feral took a running jump. Jamie emptied the chambers of her gun as the kobold retreated deeper into the dwelling for something to block the hole with. She passed her tutor's room with a sick sense of panic and nostalgia mixed together. This was the peaceful place she'd learned her craft and now it was being violated.

She hissed as the teenager reloaded and kept the remaining entrances covered. The kobold was so intent of finding barricade material that on the first glance she ignore the bow propped in a corner entirely. The less animal driven part of her mind pulled her back to it like a magnet, she bared her needle-like teeth in a grim smile.

Her people, as a rule, were clumsy with firearms and any others weapons that required delicacy to operate. The longbow was a different story. Tamina snatched the weapon up and hoisted the quiver that accompanied it onto her back.
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
 
Posts: 2361
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: To the Southern Continent

Postby Sareth » January 8th, 2011, 3:25 pm

"Are there any more windows? We should block all but one, get them focused on it so we only have to worry about attack from one direction," Jamie shouted. "See if you can block any more of the..." She cocked her head to the side, contemplating Tamina. "Uh... what is that?" she pointed to the bow.
Image
Image
User avatar
Sareth
RPG All-Star
 
Posts: 2604
Joined: August 23rd, 2007, 8:54 pm

Re: To the Southern Continent

Postby Jack Rothwell » January 8th, 2011, 5:10 pm

"Hunting bow!" Tamina snatched a thick limbed arrow from the quiver, drew the weapon tight, aimed and fired. The iron tipped projectile cut through the air and punched neatly through the throat of another feral scrambling through the narrow entrance.

"There's more.... one window... back of-." The kobold didn't get a chance to elaborate further. An ear splitting crack sounded from the barricaded front door, a pair of boards broke free of the portal to reveal a madly scrambling, gnarled hand reaching through the gap. Tamina fought the urge to make a whining noise and run around in a panic. If this was it she would do her best to go out bravely; spitting defiance if possible.

The press of the bodies at the front windows blotted out the sunlight as the main body of their enemies caught up. The front door began to buckle inwards from the combined pressure of the monsters trying to get inside even as bullets and arrows punched through outstretched arms and snarling faces.

A clattering noise made the kobold wheel around, the door leading to the eating room swung off it's hinges hard enough to break off at the top. One of the monsters stood before the women, hissing. The thing had come in through the unguarded back window, too close now to give her time to notch an arrow. She hissed back and prepared to channel.

"Eyo kla..."

The feral suddenly snapped upright rigidly. The hiss turned into a strangled noise and it collapsed in a heap.

"Wha-"

The black feathered arrow sticking out the monster's back was an immediate explanation. With the feral dead Tamina finally saw the figure standing behind it. Another kobold, a much older one with a grey and blonde coat she knew well. Leli, her teacher, come to save her.

The defenders became aware of an undercurrent of war cries and less animalistic noises punctuating the roar of the attackers. The new arrival shouted something at Tamina in their native tounge, the kobold nodded mutely and translated for her companion.

"The Killikah is here! Backs clear! Going to rout them!" Tamina laughed wildly with relief, waving at Jamie to follow as the older kobold ran.
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
 
Posts: 2361
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: To the Southern Continent

Postby Graybeard » January 9th, 2011, 12:29 am

[OOC: The outfit being described here, which is intended to be the one JR wrote about in the lead-in to what's going on, has been mentioned before, as a kind of Red-Cross-like, pro bono publico health service for places that otherwise wouldn't have them. It might be feasible to bring in some new characters using them as a jumping-off point. /OOC:]

The shingle over the clinic's door said "Clinic of the Merciful Hands." Keyes had heard of them; they ran medical clinics in out-of-the-way places until a full-blown lifemage service could get set up. This was the first time he'd ever heard of one on the Southern Continent, however. Maybe the place was getting civilized ... such as it was.

"May I help you?" the occupant asked as he peeked in the door.

"I'm not thure," he lisped, hoping the lifemage wouldn't take his speech impediment as something needing fixing. They'd tried to attack it when he was a boy, almost forty years ago, and things ... hadn't gone well. "I'm not here por mytelp, I'm looking por tomeone you might have treated."

The thaumato-physician looked dubious for a moment, giving credence to Keyes' worries. Then he cleared his throat. "I'm sorry, but our patient records are confidential, and we don't give them out freely," he said. "Please don't ask us to violate our principles and our agreements with our patients. Now if you don't mind, why do you ask?"

Keyes held up a hand. "Wait. I didn't mean a particular tomeone, I meant any --" he tried to remember the word -- "kobold who'd been here. I'm jut looking for tomeone who can tell me how to get to de village where dey're habing de plague. It dat de right word, 'plague'?" He was guessing at this point, but the way the conversations had been going, that seemed like just the kind of problem that nobody would want to talk about.

The lifemage frowned. "No, it isn't exactly right, and please don't use that term in town, people will get the wrong ideas. It's more like there have been some very odd injuries among the kobolds, some of which have been treated here." He didn't say "unsuccessfully," but Keyes was good enough at reading body language that the word didn't have to be spoken. "Now again I ask: why is the kobold village of interest to you?"

Keyes fixed the man in his gaze. "Becaute I want to retcue tomeone who going dere ... bepore dey get the 'plague' that idn't a plague, or more likely, bepore de ting cauting de injuried get dem."
----
Image
Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
 
Posts: 7050
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: To the Southern Continent

Postby Jack Rothwell » January 9th, 2011, 8:03 am

If Tamina had ever felt happier at that moment she couldn't recall. As she and her companion squeezed through the back window of Leli's hut they were greeted by the sight of a dozen kobold hunters darting past to engage the invaders. They saw a volleys of arrows leased in criss-crossing patterns that thudded into the body of their enemies with effective results, a few even weilded spears they stabbed maliciously at their prey. Monsters fell, and although some rushed to attack the newcomers moments later the majority cut their losses and retreated, as if somewhere under their frenzied appearance some basic instinct for survival still remained.

The pair watched them go, Tamina went to fire a final shot at the retreating mob but couldn't, her fingers were trembling too badly. The noise of battle faded, leaving behind the eerie silence that had accompanied them before they arrived.

The kobold felt a hand on her shoulder, she turned to see Leli standing beside her, a gentle smile playing on her lips.

<"You picked a bad time to return child, but I'm glad you're here.">

Tamina, emotional at the best of times, burst into tears and hugged her teacher. The older kobold stroked her pupil reassuringly, holding her close until they both regained some measure of composure. Eventually the pair broke apart, Leli turned to Jamie and tipped the teenager a wink. She switched to human speak for her benefit, delivering the words noticably more fluidly than the mercenary's travelling companion.

"Sorry about the rude welcome human, I hope you are unhurt."
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
 
Posts: 2361
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: To the Southern Continent

Postby Sareth » January 9th, 2011, 1:27 pm

Jamie grinned. "Hurt? Naw. Not a scratch. Thanks for the help. If you guys hadn't arrived I might have had to get violent."

Just then, the pungent stench of one of Nera's diapers wafted through the air, making eyes water.

"What is with you?" Jamie asked the child. "You couldn't have done that when we were under attack and could have used the stench to drive them away?"

Nera giggled.
Image
Image
User avatar
Sareth
RPG All-Star
 
Posts: 2604
Joined: August 23rd, 2007, 8:54 pm

Re: To the Southern Continent

Postby Jack Rothwell » January 10th, 2011, 5:25 am

OOC Just staging a little incident in Grendell, I'll retcon if anyone wants something tweaking. Apologies for the length, I had this planned for a while./OOC

Gabriel walked back across Grendell with the guide in tow. She hadn't come cheap; he'd recruited the woman in the hotel after a lengthy conversation that had pushed Alec's right hand man almost to the point of whipping out his revolver and ventilating her for being so reluctant. He'd held his temper, hard as that was, as the young lady had shown the most steel of all of the potential people who'd have been willing to lead the ex-militiaman into the jungle.

Now, as they turned towards the foliage the grim looking man put a hand to the considerably lighter coin bag at his hip with more than a trace of irritation. He made a mental promise to retrieve the fee from the wench if the opportunity arose. First things first though, he'd get to the blasted village and recapture Alec's beloved furball, as far as the other woman was concerned, Gabriel was prepared to settle for a corpse if she proved too much trouble to subdue.

"Is it a long trip?" He asked the native, more from something to say than from any real interest.

"Only an hour at a walk. But if we run into trouble, I warn you now, I'll be getting out of there quick."

"Yes. Yes." He grumbled. He was definitely getting his money back from this one, no doubt about it.

So lost was the newcomer in his homicidal imaginings that at first he ignored the yells coming from the building they passed. The medical clinic was an appropriate place for screams to come from after all. It certainly had a musical ring to it that Gabriel enjoyed in an abstract kind of way. The shouts came from a man, apparently distressed about some woman or another.

"Zell! Please wake up! Gods! Noooo!"

The wails broke down into sobs, Gabriel paused despite himself.

"We should really get going."

"Just paying my respects." He murmured, and leaned against a hut wall, eavesdropping flagrantly. Something unusual was happening inside, he was intrigued despite himself. A faint hissing noise permeated the darkness of the clinic; the crying man began speaking again.

"Zell! I thought you were.... Zell? What are you-? Ow! You're hurting me! Stop! Ahhh!!!"

A chorus of shouts erupted from inside the clinic; Gabriel leaned forward with interest, what the hell was going on?

The question was answered an instant later; the medical centre entrance door was flung back in a blur, framing the figure stood in its frame in a creepily dramatic way. It was a young woman, quite a pretty one; Gabriel thought... well... at least pretty if you discounted the pale pallor of the woman's face and the trickles of blood leaking out of either side of her mouth. The soldier could see gashes running down her arm and ribs that virtually pulsed with an angry red glow. The woman stared back with an expression of psychotic anger, roaring incoherently before she sprang at the puzzled man.

“What the fuck-?”

She grabbed onto him with a strength her frail frame hadn’t alluded to. Gabriel snarled as her fingers scratched at his forearms, he weaved his head out of the way as the rabid woman tried to bite a chunk out of his cheek and snarled angrily at his attacker.

“Crazy bitch!”

Gabriel had never considered the virtues of fighting fair, or of a gentleman’s obligation to treat the opposite sex with gentleness. He brought his knee up squarely into the woman’s solar plexus and snapped his elbow across her temple hard enough to turn her head sharply to the side. The woman released her grip and fell stunned to the floor. He looked around at the staring townsfolk disbelievingly.

“Is this how you greet all your tourists? Thanks for the help by the way!”

He paused in his tirade as the sound of his assailants hissing punctuated the air again; the ‘stunned’ woman leapt to her feet and charged Gabriel a second time.

“Fine. Suit yourself.”

He drew the gun at his waist with sharpened reflexes and pulled the trigger twice. The crazed woman staggered backwards, still roaring, as blood flew and painted the wall behind her. She fell, Gabriel snorted in contempt.

“You saw her.” He addressed the witnesses. “She was trying to tear my throat out. I had no choice.”

“ZELL!” He recognised the voice; it was the same man who’d been crying inside a moment before who came limping out of the clinic, a red-sodden rag pressed against his shoulder. His face was grief-stricken; he dropped to his knees by the now-inert body. Gabriel rolled his eyes contemptuously and seized his guide by her arm.

“I think it’s time we start our journey, don’t you think?”

OOC This isn't intended to put the Keyes or the doctor in danger or run a train through the dialogue they were having btw. I just had the picture of Gara thinking his sister was dead, her waking up, wounding him and sprinting out the clinic in a frenzy. If kobolds came into town for treatment they could've left before their symptoms took a turn for the worse./OOC
Last edited by Jack Rothwell on January 24th, 2011, 5:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
 
Posts: 2361
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: To the Southern Continent

Postby Jack Rothwell » January 11th, 2011, 8:17 am

Back at the kobold village things had quietened down considerably. Leli, Tamina, Jamie and a handful of others sat in a circle surrounding a campfire in the centre of the settlement. Despite the open space the pair felt safer; Leli had set about issuing instructions to the two dozen or so 'Killikah' she'd arrived with, posting lookouts around the village at entrances and vantage points all around.

The kobolds, not one to let a violent battle get in the way of convention, were using the fire to cook up some of the jungle's inhabitants who'd wandered too close to the hunters. Birds turned on a spit which Jamie's companion had assured her were some kind of ground fowl that tasted of chicken. Despite her recent trauma the returning tribeswoman eyed the meal hungrily. Leli sat watching her pupil with maternal love written across her face, she nodded at the newcomer and smiled at the baby in her arms.

"We owe you a debt young lady." She said. "You bought one of our best and brightest back to us in a time of need and such a thing will not be forgotten."

She leaned forward and poked the fire with a stick in a distracted manner, as though heavier thoughts were pressing on her mind.

"Yet I'm afraid we can't offer you any kind of material reward for the deed, as you can see things have become very dangerous in our homelands. The last few days have been a fight for mere survival."

Tamina broke her attention away from the cooking meat and looked squarely at her teacher. "What happened?"

"It's magic." The older kobold replied. "The plague is a man-made thing, designed to seize control of the victim's mind." She paused, thinking of how to continue. "It brings out the animal instincts, hunger, aggression, and with time it warps the body into a predator state. Those kobold's who attacked you were its first victims, they arrived from the west some days ago seeking aid... aid I couldn't give them. Some carried on to Grendell afterwards, but from what we've seen they had no better luck there."
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
 
Posts: 2361
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

PreviousNext

Return to Rear View Mirror

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron