The Ruffian Encampment (TS)
A Cythera-related TS
Starting out from the Tavern, a small group of Cytheran adventures headed south.
Their task was to go to the Ruffian Encampment, kill the ruffian leader, disperse the ruffians, and assure the safety of Kosha. Because of the danger to Kosha, they had agreed to head straight south (which would put them between Kosha and the encampment) before heading west to the encampment, rather than go straight southwest.
They were making good time, despite having to be very cautious in case of a ruffian ambush.
This post has been edited by Selax : 11 November 2006 - 11:29 PM
Kickme, a newly recruited ruffian, looks around with awe in the ruffian stronghold. Having just finished his training, he is young and naive. A tightly knit group of ruffians run past him and leave through the front gate. A few minutes later they return, this time with more people and are in a circle formation, as if they are protected someone. In the midst of the bandits, Kickme glimpses someone who is dressed like a noble.
The group quickly move on, leaving Kickme standing alone next to the path.
Yay! First TS post!
We need somewhere to discuss the TS and to help people (like me) improve their posts.
Next to him was Percius, his one friend. Percius was also young, but logical and intelligent. It seemed as if he always had his hand on his sword for a reason no one knew. Percius was one of the many men from Cademia, the mother city. He had also just finished his training. Percius saw the crowd and being very curious, tried to push through to see who it was.
The party that had left Cademia was quickly moving south. They had already passed the Vineyard south of the city.
Rapierian (sometimes called "Lord" Rapierian because of his distant relation to the House of Strymon) was looking forward to their quest. He needed some practice with his skills and couldn't see ruffians as being much of a challenge. He didn't have any idea how wrong he was...
This post has been edited by Selax : 11 November 2006 - 11:29 PM
Wizard was traveling leisurely behind Rapierian, on foot. He had left his horse in Cademia with a kind stable master. He hadn't relished the thought of being on horseback if ambushed by ruffians. He would rather have his feet on the ground like everyone else.
Then his thoughts turned to Rapierian. He did not trust the young necromancer, and he was certain that Rapierian didn't trust him either. Nevertheless, he would, for the time being, wait and observe.
This was the part of Cythera that Wizard knew best, the South. He estimated that they would reach Kosha within another day. From there they would turn southwest to the encampment. The task sounded easy enough, but Wizard knew it would not be.
Wait, Wizard's mind suddenly warned him of something, something out of place that was about to happen. "Watch out!" he shouted without thinking. A ruffian dove from behind a bush at Rapierian. Another came up behind Wizard. For a moment, there was nothing but silence, then everyone moved at once. Rapierian summoned a golem to aid him, and Wizard whacked one with his staff. The fight lasted a few brief moments, but the ruffians were no match for who they had chosen to pillage.
After killing the last ruffian, the group continued south, more cautious than ever. The land was no longer as safe as it once was.
The grass around me swayed in the morning breeze i watched it, slowly moving back and fourth without a thought for anything in the world, just itself and its little patch of soil. Rapierian strode past me the young man seemed very lively.
Kill him, he is like that of the mages, he is a threat the mind barrier has weakend over the years, take him out before he tries to strengthen the block.
Satori lifted her scythe a empty look cast across her face. the air twisted.
Wizard noticed out of the courner of his eye Sator her scythe lifted, a bolt of malice tore towards Rapierian, Wizard thought quickly, and then smashed him boot into Rapierian head.the hit will be painful but it was certainly better then being torn to peices.
The bolt dissapated into the forest.
Satori opend her eys slowly Rapierian was lying on the ground craddling his head whilst wizard looked back at her with a scowl on his face.
What have i done, he has not harmed me, not at all. well not as of yet.
This post has been edited by Pippin 3 : 11 November 2006 - 04:56 AM
This character is the same Phaedrus who features in my current chronicle. How he came to be alive almost 1000 years after the events of the chronicle, his role in this TS, and the origin of his magic will be explained in the next few installments of the chronicle and (once they have been posted) in the Character Info Thread.
It had just began raining when I scrambled up the sandy embankment of the beach and fell onto the road. The ache in my limbs throbbed with my vision and heart, my lungs raw and stinging. I gulped in air as best I could, lying with my feet tangled in short bushes and my head crowned by puddles forming rapidly. At some point my face became submerged and I coughed violently. Although drowning no longer held any fear for me I could not suppress my reflexes.
I managed to stand shakily but quickly found myself flat again and winded. A blotchy red face appeared over me and grinned. “Don’t play in the mud, you’ll catch a cold.” it said. A foot extended and connected painfully with my ribs. I heard a crack and winced. I rolled, but was stopped by the shaft of a mace. There were three men surrounding me, staring down at me maliciously: these were the ‘ruffians’ I had been told of.
The red faced one swung his staff in a high arc and brought it with a thud upon my ankles. I moaned in pain, barely able to articulate my agony through a single-minded obsession with the feelings in my broken ankles. I was dragged to my feet and quickly frisked. When the search turned up nothing a skinny ruffian, obviously the leader of this trio, swung his fist at my face. I dodged my head, but the blow still caught me ringing on the ear. “Damn beggar’s got nothing!” he shouted, and kicked at my ankles as the red faced ruffian and his companion held me. Every blow brought a wash of pain up my legs, turning my stomach and blinding me. As the beating progressed up my shins with the aid of the skinny ruffian’s mace, I realised I was going to be murdered. Through my pain I was suddenly angry.
I will not die here! Not like this! I don’t want to go through that again..
My minds eye closed and I remembered noises of the ocean, somehow hearing and understanding. I could see one of them, could feel its tendril fingers inside me. I copied its motions and thoughts effortlessly. They were almost graceful.
The skinny ruffian leader coughed and dropped his mace. He stepped back and gargled. Foam frothed from his mouth and spilled down his leather cuirass. I could smell salt. He looked pleadingly at his companions just over my shoulder and fell forward, convulsing. The red faced ruffian and the other man, a bearded ruffian, dropped me and ran to their leader’s side. When they turned him over to force the water out of his lungs he became still, obviously dead. Unable to support myself on my crushed ankles I fell.
So I was found by a group of passing adventurers: semi-conscious with two burly men crowded over their leader. Drowned on dry land by something I had done; those ghost movements of my mind had had a devestating effect.
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Toreon was finally excited. He dashed upstairs to the room he had rented to fetch his sister, who was doing nothing but resting and daydreaming in the bed.
“Retsy!” Toreon panted, only slightly short of breath, “pack up! Quickly!”
“Wha?” Retsy forced herself up then hurriedly tied their few belongings up in a sheet. “Why?”
Toreon replied, with more excitement than appropriate, “an injured man came in downstairs, his whole group was killed!”
Retsy followed her brother out the door and down the stairs. “Do you know where we’re going?”
“We’re not going alone. Others from the bar - I think they know what they’re doing too-” Toreon rambled.
“Nalkii!” Retsy exclaimed, “I don’t-” they exited the tavern, the group of people was in plain sight, only slightly ahead of them. Retsy stopped and grabbed Toreon’s arm. “Nalkii, we don’t know them. I don’t want to die.”
Toreon barely blinked at his sister. “It’s been a week, and we made it to an inn in Cademia. What does that tell you?”
Retsy paused; Toreon began walking again. “Come on!”
“Okay Nalkii,” Retsy replied, and they both ran to catch up with the group.
This post has been edited by BreadWorldMercy453 : 11 November 2006 - 07:58 AM
Rapierian was not in a good mood; he was actually quite irritated.
First, Satori had tried to stab him in the back for no apparent reason. This was strange but he supposed that he could live with it.
Second, Wizard had assumed him to be helpless and hit him in the back of the head to "save" him. Rapierian supposed that he might have been more grateful except he had now acquired a splitting headache.
Third, another small group of ruffians had tried to ambush them. Since this particular group of Ruffians were weak-minded, Wizard had been able to solve the problem easily by convincing them that they had attacked a dragon. This would have amused Rapierian but in the ruffians in their haste to escape had stepped on his foot, which was now quite sore.
Fourth, when the party rounded another bend there were two other ruffians on the beach in front of them. They were bending over a third ruffian who had, from the look of things, apparently managed to drown himself on dry land. Next to them lay another bedraggled man, whom they had apparently been attacking.
They saw the group coming toward them of course. One turned the other way and tried running. He hadn't taken more than three steps before the force of Satori's anger struck him. All that remained of the man was a bloody mess on the sand.
The other broke away and headed inland, taking a course that took him quite close to Rapierian. Rapierain reached out and caught the man by his hand. He then cast one of his favorite spells—one of the ones taught him by Tavara during his time at the Strongholds in the north.
The ruffian tried to pull his hand free but found that he couldn't. He tried to swing at Rapierian but found that he couldn't do that either. A green flame burst from Rapierian's hand and covered the ruffian completely before fading. For a moment, nothing happened. Then, Rapierian began to laugh as a white light started to pour from the man and into Rapierian. The ruffian, however, shrieked as his skin started to decay. Rapierian was sucking the life out of him. After a few seconds, he dropped the vivisected corpse.
He turned to the others.
"While that was refreshing! Need to work on that more—not quite perfect yet, I think."
He didn't mention that the spell only worked on the weak-willed and only on physical contact. It was also still quite dangerous to cast. Rapierian considered it worth all this however. The spell had several positive—at least to Rapierian—effects, not all of which he was quite aware of. His headache was gone though.
He bent over the man lying on the beach.
"Well, I don't specialize in healing magic, but I might be able to modify one of my other spells to be of some use. . .unless of course someone here is a healer."
This post has been edited by Selax : 11 November 2006 - 11:29 PM
I looked in shock at the face who was lent over my own. The two ruffians who had been assaulting me had gone. One had seemingly been pulverized and the other had disappeared in an odd flash of green and white light. I shook my head in disbelief and put this observations down to my mind playing tricks, twisting my thoughts in response to the searing pain in my legs and stinging chest.
The long, thin face of the man smiled oddly at me when I had opened my eyes fully. Although groggy with pain, I could see that his smile was not malicious. The man offered his hand and pulled me up, supporting me on his thin frame. I noticed that with him was a short woman, an old man, two youngsters and a handful of others out of focus.
I flopped uselessly against the mans shoulder as he helped me over to the embankment and laid me down. He looked around the group again and, his smile now a grimace, asked “Can anyone heal? I’d rather not use my magic, it’s not exactly... well... suited to this kind of work. Even if this man is of no use stopping the ruffians, we can’t leave him lying here.”
The older man spoke clearly, just out of my sight “Watch your words. He could be one of them.”
“He’s not going anywhere until we heal him though, don’t worry.” came the reply.
I struggled to open my mouth, but for my pain it would not move.
“What do you make of this, Rapierian?” The old man asked the thin-faced one. He knelt carefully over the skinny ruffian leader and examined his blue lips and oddly white face. The other man, Rapierian, smelt the ruffian’s clothing and ran his finger experimentally through the frothy bile pooled around the corpse.
“Drowned.” he said “Sea water, if I’m not mistaken.”
The old man frowned “So he was taking a swim, fully dressed, while his companions beat up this man here?”
Rapierian shook his head, obviously confused. “Only his breastplate is wet.” He stood and circled the body slowly. Finally he paused and looked at the old man “The Brigand Prisoner, Wizard?”
The old man, obviously Wizard, deepened his frown. “Held under suspicion of kidnapping. The first ruffian to resist truth magic and...” he thought for a moment “Of course, drowned in his cell in the walls of Odemia. That was only ever myth. And the storm that night was particularly violent, or so Sacas reports.”
Rapierian looked skyward at the falling rain, then at me.
I tried to talk again, the time coughing violently. When I had wiped rain from my eyes I managed a broken sentence through gritted teeth: “Ruffians... more... K...” I struggled with the unfamiliar word “...Kesh.” I stammered. "A new source.”
There was an odd noise of whispered curses and breaths from the group. A moments silence ensued.
“We must move quickly.” Wizard said.
Rapierian nodded assent.
“Can you walk?” He asked.
I shook my head, and for the third time he turned to the group of adventurers.
Wizard looked at the cripped man, "I cannot fully heal you, I can help your body along with the process though." he said touching the man on the leg, "This will tingle a little, I am going to tempt to fuse bits of your bone back together but your body will have to do the rest." Wizard closed his eyes and a quiet almost unaudible popping sounds could be heard from the leg.
"I will go make a splint, will releave some pain." Medoc said walking over to a thicket of bushes not far from the group.
About half an hour later the group was ready to leave. The group took it in turns to help support their newest member of the group.
"We only have about three hours left of day light." Rapierian stated looking at the sky, "I estimate that we will be there before then anyway."
As they made their way over the last hill they saw the city of Kosha. It wasn't exactly a city to a true definition, not like Cademia, its was more of a settlement. Kosha was the last town to have been built on Cythera, it was initially built by two houses, only one still has presence there though. It was built more as of a research settlement as first. far enough away from the swamp that they wouldn't be disturbed by anything that lived there but close enough that you could access the swamp within a few days. The swamp was full of weird and wonderful animals, exotic plant life and more.
It was just before night fall when they entered Kosha, they went around to the local tavern for lodging and something to eat. The wounded man was taken to the local healer, still not fully consious from what Wizard had done but he was slowly getting his senses back again. Everyone met in the tavern over a titan leg (shipped in from the north west) to discuss what the next step of their journey was going to be.
Forgot about that Selax, easy fixed
This post has been edited by Half Truth : 22 September 2006 - 10:14 AM
Rapierian looked around the Tavern. It was fairly empty. With the all the bandit troubles, most people were taking refuge in the former home of House Comana, the closest thing that Kosha had to a stronghold. He wondered where the ruffians were getting a new source of kesh. Obviously, not all of them yet had it—those three ruffians that had died earlier certainly hadn't Also, how had that strange man known that they had a new source of kesh? Rapierian had already decided that it would be a good idea to keep a close eye on him and everyone else that Rapierian didn't know.
He offered his opinion.
"I think that we should go straight for the source. Go to Ruffian Encampment and kill their leader. It's no use wandering around in the wilderness trying to weaken them by killing them while they're separate. They're growing too quickly and quite likely getting more kesh too. Certainly, nothing will be gained by waiting."
However, before the discussion could finish or anyone else could offer his opinion, the door burst open and three or four ruffians stormed in.
They didn't stand a chance and were dead in moments. However, from the sounds of battle outside, it was clear that the bandits had indeed launched an assault on Kosha. It was also quite likely that most of them would be supplied with kesh.
The group grabbed their weapons and raced for the door, wanting to get out rather than be sealed inside a flammable building. There was a fairly large number of ruffians outside; most of them were busy trying to break into the Stronghold. Some of them noticed the group exiting the Tavern and looking for cover. A mass of ruffians charged at the group and the battle was on...
This post has been edited by Selax : 11 November 2006 - 11:30 PM
Wizard did not immediately engage in combat. Rapierian was near the front, surrounded by enemies. He had a cruel and sadistic look about him as he cast dark enchantment after another, and the ruffians were obviously experiencing a great deal of pain. Wizard sighed in disgust, "Necromancers. . ."
Medoc was fighting several ruffians alone. The young man, Toreon, and his sister were doing their best to hold their ground.
It was at this point that two charged Wizard. He saw them coming and knocked one on his back with his mind. The other surprised him by coming in low and uppercutting his jaw. As he fell back, a club whacked his chest. "This will not do," Wizard shouted aloud. Using his telekinesis, he righted himself and, before the ruffian could react, landed several good blows, the last of which knocked him to the ground. We'll have to keep one alive for questioning I guess, he thought as he gave the man on the ground a sharp rap with the end of his staff.
By now, the other ruffian was recovered and ran at Wizard's back. Wizard was wrestled to his knees and incapacitated for a moment. As he glanced up trying to free his arms, he saw Satori standing in the doorway of the inn. She had not yet lifted a finger; she seemed in conflict on what to do.
At last, Wizard's hands were free. He threw the ruffian from his back. The outlaw charged again, but this time he ran for Satori. The man ran behind her and put his knife against her throat. "Drop the stick, or I kill her," he said in a vicious tone. Satori seemed to decide what to do, and Wizard stepped back as he felt her intense hatred gather. Suddenly the man vanished into oblivion, the knife falling harmlessly to the ground. She grabbed her scythe and walked robotically to the battlefront where she began to hack every ruffian that approached her to pieces.
Wizard took a brief rest before jumping back into the battle to help Toreon and Retsy, but he was ready this time.
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A Battle had just begun and Retsy was tired already. Her daydreams of being a war heroine were immediately slashed along with her hip. It wasn’t too big a boo-boo, but it stung and it ripped her dress. And Toreon wasn’t much better off, he was engaged in a sword battle with a ruffian who had weird eyes. That was the only thing noticeable about the ruffian- weird eyes.
“You monstrous creature, you’ve cut my arm!” exclaimed Toreon.
“As if your attempts aren’t the same,” spat the weird-eyed ruffian.
Toreon had no response to that; he glanced briefly at the rest of the battle. Everyone was doing freaky magic stuff.
Retsy had begun running around in circles, a ruffian chasing her. Wizard had come over now, and he swiftly killed the ruffian, as well as set to work on several others. Retsy fell behind him, and was pleased to find that he was preventing her from being killed.
Toreon’s weird-eyed ruffian had fallen, though Toreon didn’t think he was dead yet. He journeyed the four paces over to his sister, “go back inside, Crazy.”
Retsy glanced at the door and saw the path was clear. “Fair thee well,” she replied and went in.
With Retsy off his mind, Toreon decided to take on another ruffian, and rejoined the battle.
Judge Itanos had proved a deft hand when it came to basic healing and, with the help of a generous helping of unguent, my legs now held my weight with a minimum of wincing. I lay on the bed in his cosy kitchen, my body warmed by the stove, and talked to Itanos. A lot had changed, and the Judge of Kosha had explained to me the role of a judge, the recent rise in ruffian attacks and the substance ‘Kesh’. “Although,” he admitted “if it what you say about a new source is true, then this spells trouble, especially for House Comana. Myus-”
Itanos was interrupted by a harsh battle-cry and the clash of swords. I leapt out of bed and ran to the door. Opening it cautiously I spied a horde of Ruffians, at least thirty, descending on the township from the west. Some of the guards had began firing arrows from the windows of House Comana, and already several ruffians lay bleeding to death. Itanos gasped as the ruffians swept towards the Roasted Haunch. The adventurers that had rescued me were repelling the attack with devastating efficiency, many of them proving to be more than adept at combat and magic.
Fear rose inside me, but I charged into the melee all the same. No one was going to know how scared I was of being killed again. I lunged at the nearest ruffian, who was quaffing generously from a grey flask, and swung viciously at his back. The blade of my dagger snapped just above the hilt and crumbled into rusty particles. The ruffian spun and smashed the flask into my head with a sickening crunch. I stumbled and fell, clutching my wound with bloodied hands. The ruffian stepped purposefully on my neck and stared intently into my eyes. His eyes were weird, with the pupils shrunk to obsidian pin-pricks in an ocean of milky white. He quivered and shuddered minutely and flared his nostrils. He lifted his double-bladed axe above his head took careful aim. I cringed and scrunched my eyes, expecting the explosive cold of sharpened steel to break my silent prayers.
Please, no. Please, please hear my cry, we are near the ocean. Save me!
I opened one eye hesitantly and looked at my imminent death. He had been distracted by something emerging from the south side of House Comana. It was green and barrel shaped, with a spray of tentacles probing and tasting the unfamiliar air. It seemed to glide across the land aimlessly before it bumped into the man who had splinted my leg. Medoc turned and let out a cry, warning the others. The Polyp’s tentacles grabbed hold of Medoc and constricted. He swung his staff viciously and was soon joined by Wizard, who cast some sort spell. The Polyp paused and pulsated before fading into nothing. Medoc and Wizard exchanged glances and were about to return to the ruffians when another Polyp sailed towards them. I could see from where I lay that the Polyps had rounded the north end of House Comana and were assaulting the ruffians with equal ferocity. I sighed in relief and pushed the ruffians foot from my neck. He fell and continued to stare at the mass of green in shock. I knew I was safe.
This post has been edited by dusk : 22 September 2006 - 10:59 PM
Rapierian had been having a great deal of fun. As a matter of fact, he'd been laughing the entire battle until the polyps had appeared. He didn't like polyps—polyps typically served the Undine and Rapierian had something of a history with the Undine. However, he was uncertain whether this group was actually controlled by Undine or by something else. Either way, they didn't appear to be after him, and he appeared to be safe for the moment. He'd just have to be ready in case that changed.
His attention was abruptly directed back toward the battle. So far, despite his relative inexperience, he'd had little trouble dealing with the ruffians, not always the most experienced of people themselves and almost never mages. Many of them, like most other Cytherans, were frightened of dark magic. However, next wave of ruffians that was advancing now was doing so with far more confidence than the previous wave had. (While this wave advanced, another wave of ruffians was attempting to attack the polyps.)
Rapierian attempted to cast a simple spell on them that was supposed to send them running in terror.
A closer look at the ruffians revealed why. At their belts, each of them carried a grey flask—a grey flask containing kesh. Each of them had obviously emptied his flask and had thus gained the protection from most forms of magic that was kesh's hallmark. They figured that they could now deal with city easily while the other wave of the ruffians would deal with the polyps.
Rapierian, however, had other spells at his disposal. Turning to several of the ruffian bodies near him, he hastily set to work casting. If he was too slow, those ruffians would easily be able to destroy him, since his magic would now be useless against them. He didn't look to see what the rest of the group was doing; he figured they'd deal with this in their own ways.
The ruffians were soon on top of him, and one was lifting his axe to finish Rapierian when two or three of the bodies that he'd been working on quivered. Then, they convulsed, and the flesh on each seemed to melt, leaving only their bones. Then, the bones stood up and gripped the weapons of the fallen ruffians. The ruffians around Rapierian momentarily recoiled. Then, the skeletons charged into the mass, hacking almost indiscriminately. Rapierian, drained by that effort, sat down to watch his minions work, although he still kept a close eye on the polyps.
This post has been edited by Selax : 11 November 2006 - 11:30 PM
Scum nothing else and you must leave! Satori's scythe fell down on a ruffians head, penetrating deep into his brain, the man screamed, his arms flailed around violently, and then fell still. A rather large ruffian charged Satori before she had a chance to pulll her scythe free. Satori growled in anger, and jumped high onto the ruffians shoulders, caught off balance, the ruffian was dazed. Satori grasped his head and rammed her thumbs into the ruffians eyes, the man screamed as he tried to pull Satori off. He toppled over and lay on the ground covering his eye sockets. with a loud crack Satori wrenched her scythe free of the ruffians head.
The blind man must have heard the scythe being removed for he was attempting to crawl away. Satori strode over to the man and lifted her scythe. And you shall return to the mud from whence you came. naught a better place for one like you to be. a sickening ripping noise was heard by some of the ruffians and they turned to see thier sompanions spine being ripped from his back. One ruffian pushed his friend out of the way, and ran into the night. Phaedrus was slowly rising to his feet. How much of this ruffian scum is thier left to purge, the nigt grows late, and we need be on our way. Satori walked toward Phaedrus with a silent intent....
This post has been edited by Pippin 3 : 24 September 2006 - 01:04 AM
Interestingly enough, after the fight at Pynx, Thomas and Etiko had been put in charge of Talryn. After observing him for a few months, Thomas went to esscort Talryn to Kosha so he could get a job and be able to live his life again. Thomas had left Talryn to finish the rest of his journey to Kosha with less than a mile to the town.
Talryn walked into a clearing and ran into what appeared to be a raiding force of Bandits. The bandits didn't want to waste time searching him, so they just put some chains on him and dragged him along with their raid.
Two bandits stood gaurd of any prisoners the Bandits were taking during their battle at Kosha. Talryn noticed a few similar faces of people that were fighting off the bandits. Talryn glanced behind and there were some obscured outlines of more reinforcements. Talryn looked at his chains and noticed some magic flowing through them. A bandit grabed Talryn andd pulled him to his feet and held a sword against his neck.
This post has been edited by Dark Jet : 11 November 2006 - 11:25 PM
Rapierian watched as the ruffians broke into two groups: one to continue to attack the city and one to attack the polyps.
They apparently knew nothing about warfare. Neither group had the strength to accomplish their completed tasks.
He didn't laugh—after all, the Undine might be watching and they might notice him—but he smiled widely, watching with great amusement as the one force of ruffians began to crack under the assault of the polyps. The other group that was attacking the city had begun to be forced back by the city guards. Some of them had noticed the plight of their fellows and had begun to glance over their shoulders, clearly thinking of retreating. Any moment now the ruffians would flee.
Rapierian caught sight of a man whom he didn't know in chains and guarded by two ruffians. Observing that there were no polyps around, he decided that he may as well go and try to rescue the man—do his good deed for the year. The ruffians might have taken kesh, but with his skeletons to help him that wouldn't be much of a problem. He began to move quietly toward them...
This post has been edited by Selax : 11 November 2006 - 11:30 PM
Wizard had actually been doing fairly well. He killed several ruffians and overrode another's thoughts, effectively controlling him. Retsy hid behind him, pleased to have found a safe location, at least, until the next wave of ruffians arrived.
Wizard tried to knock one on the ground with telekinesis, but it failed. He tried again, but was still unsuccessful. Then he saw it: the ruffian had a small vial of kesh and so did most of the others. Here things turned for the worse. Wizard tried to fight them off, but, without the aid of any magic, he was overpowered. He steadily lost more and more ground until his back was practically against the tavern's wall. A club struck his chest hard, knocking his breath away, and a sword slashed a mark down his arm.
The bearded, old man was starting to get a little concerned when something happened, something he could not have anticipated if he had been preparing for this fight for years. He saw over a ruffian's shoulder a polyp.
"Polyps!" he gasped as more and more of the vile creatures crawled from the water's edge. The ruffians that were attacking him were surprised as well, which Wizard used to his advantage. He quickly reached into his robe and unsheathed the sword that he had been saving as a back-up plan. At the sound of the blade being drawn, a bandit turned to face him, but too late. He impaled the man.
Polyps, polyps, polyps, polyps. . . many possible reasons for the appearance of the sea creatures ran through his head, one standing out among the rest. He hurried over to help Medoc, who was being assaulted by a polyp.
The ruffians split into halves, and Wizard continued to fight, for some reason fiercer than before. At first it looked dire for everyone, but it soon became evident that the ruffians were suffering the heaviest casualties. Admirably, they stood their ground for as long as they could. Then one fled and another and another. Then they all did.
Wizard was no longer in direct combat and had a chance to look around. He suddenly realized a familiar presence and, looking up, discerned very quickly who it was. That's Talryn! he exclaimed to himself. Talryn was being hauled off as a prisoner. Wizard was about to run to save him when he saw Rapierian approaching the small pack of ruffians.
I hope he's not planning on killing all of them, Wizard thought as he swiftly moved towards the same group.
As he rushed over, he suddenly collided with a rapidly fleeing ruffian and fell to the ground. When he regained his footing, he could no longer see Talryn. He saw Rapierian, who had also appeared to have lost sight of where the chained prisoner was. The last large wave of men was running past them now, and neither of them could discern one individual from the mob. Wizard's mind was too jumbled with thoughts of polyps to concentrate very well either.
After a few minutes of trying to locate Talryn, Wizard had given up. He returned to the ruffian that he had previously knocked out for the purpose of interrogation. Forcing his mind to focus on the current task, he knelt beside the bent form. "Well, let's see..." he said after a long exhale and closed his eyes.
"I'm afraid he's not very well off," he began, eyes still shut. "I broke several ribs and punctured a lung. He's hemorrhaging." He looked across at Medoc, who was now knelt opposite him examining the man, "I don't think I can risk waking him fully; he probably would black out again." Medoc touched the man's forehead, "Yeah, I think so, too. Can you do it without waking him?"
"I'll try." Wizard closed his eyes again and suddenly penetrated the man's mind and stirred it to a semi-conscious state. He continued, "He doesn't know who the new leader is. A force of them was instructed to destroy Kosha; he tagged along -- bad idea. Ok, there is a new source of kesh -- that we know. Where is it? Where? Bah," Wizard grunted, "there are traces of something in his system. It's kesh. It's been a while since his last dosage, I'd say, but I'm still having trouble penetrating... There! Where - is - it? Hrm, he doesn't know. All he knows is that it's given to him in exchange for his loyalty. His thought patterns are becoming erratic. I think we're losing him."
Wizard stood after he was certain the man was dead. "Well, that wasn't very helpful. I think our best bet is to continue our move toward the encampment; we should find more answers there," he remarked to Rapierian, who was silently watching.
Since the night's battle had taken place only a little before dawn, the group stayed in Kosha another hour or so. Then they packed up, retrieved Phaedrus from the Judge's home, and started on their way.
This post has been edited by The Wizard : 27 September 2006 - 07:28 PM