Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Eleas » 2014-03-28 04:55pm

The wait was worthwhile. It's awesome to finally see Nalifan cut loose as a strategist.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2014-03-30 12:02pm

Khaduli mages twisted, writhed, and fell under the lash of black lightning danced from the Fist of Night. Nalifan had appeared suddenly in mid air and struck swiftly and fiercely. The leather clad mages could not withstand his attacks nor could they overwhelm his defence and so they went the way of all flesh. As the last mage fell Nalifan clenched his fist in silent triumph. The white gems that studded the black metal shown like stars.

"The rangers did their job well," he said softly. "Almost too easy." With his other hand he pointed the Staff of Ruin at the dam. The white bone of the staff was stained rose by the bloody light shining from the crystal at it's tip. "Murder, mayhem, wrack, and ruin," he chanted softly. The phonemes he spoke next were liquid and harsh, fluid and terrible. The tip of the Staff of Ruin grew to paint him in bloody light.

The center of the dam exploded, a violent eruption of earth that rose twice its height into the air and sent a jet of earth and water two hundred feet toward the drow. A torrent followed, tearing down the surviving parts of the damn in a cascade of water and debris that rushed down the river bed.

The Khaduli were neither deaf nor blind, but they were trapped. The masses behind the men and women caught in the river bed quickly stopped pushing, but that left no room for anyone to retreat to the southern bank. Only a few escaped back up the way they had came. As for the rest there was only one other way and that was uphill against a bank held by heavy infantry. With enough sorcery they could break through but their sorcerers had only moments to deploy overwhelming force against an enemy that still possessed counter spells. Sorcery could break through, sorcery or the power of a god.

The King of Tribes was half way up the bank surrounded by a surging vanguard of Khaduli when he first became aware of the oncoming flood. The mass of men and horses obscured his vision and the thunder of battle blanketed his ears until the panic of his army forced itself upon him. He turned to shout and rally his men and as his troops receded from him in panic he saw the oncoming water and heard the roar of its approach.

Screaming in rage the King of Tribes through himself at the Vanyard line. A pike caught him in the hip, another in the right shoulder. He kept coming, breaking up the line with pure brute strength, an irresistible engine of flesh, malice, and endless hunger for slaughter. The two pike men were pushed out of their crouches and back into their formation. The King of Tribes reached out and effortlessly broke the shaft of the pike in his shoulder and then hacked off the one in his hip.

Behind and beneath him the torrent murdered his people. Men and horses vanished under the froth and were lost. A handful died frantically on pikes, impaling themselves in their desperation to escape. Far more watch on the south bank. Some of their bows could reach just far enough and black rain falls upon the pike men.

A pike took the King of Tribes in the gut as he hacked his way through the formation. The man holding it is closer to forty than thirty and has a name no one of any importance ever bothered to learn or remember. His life, up to this moment, had been one unremarkable, another poor boy who became a soldier and stayed at the profession at arms because he lacked better prospects. In this moment, this brief, anonymous moment; he is the most important man alive.

He braces the butt of his pike and angles it up, taking the King of Tribes off of his feet. The King of Tribes has the strength of a titan, but his flesh is still that of a man. The anonymous soldier takes him off of his feet, deprives him of any leverage and then surges forward and tosses him pike and all into the water. The torrent drags the King of Tribes under and he vanishes.

A cheer goes up from the men around him. For a moment he is a hero. Then the black rain falls and an arrow catches him in the face. His body tumbles down the slope and into the raging river. Gone as if he had never been, but leaving the world changed in his wake. The ripples of body striking the water are gone in an instant, but the ripples of his action mean life and death for everyone watching.

On the other side of river the Carnivora rallies his wizards, the great and terrible and magelings. They wear robes of human hide marked by glyphs from human blood and they are, even the boys and girls just past puberty, hardened and inured to death and suffering. The setback is unprecedented, but it does not break them and they fear the enemy far less than they fear their elders. In this they are wise.

They rally and with them the chieftains and generals rally. The discipline of the Khaduli is a reed, not a glass pane. It bends and recovers, it does not shatter. They order themselves. The first courses have been served but not all have taken their place at the table. The Khaduli are not done yet and they still have an appetite for slaughter.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby SCRawl » 2014-03-30 01:56pm

Now that there's no danger of my post prompting a round of recriminations from those seeing the updated thread and expecting a new chapter, I wonder if the author will consent to answering a few questions:

1. I know that this is your character from a campaign, but up to what level did you play that character, and at what character level did you start playing?
2. Are these stories like a "future history" of these characters, and/or are you still playing these characters?
3. How long did it take to build up characters to such a level (in terms of years and sessions, approximately)?
4. Are game mechanics always (more or less) thoroughly respected in the stories?

My only AD&D experience is with first edition, and before that the basic stuff. The highest level character I ever trained up was an eighth level druid, and that was some time ago. I would have to imagine that reaching the 20+ level plateau would take forever.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2014-03-30 08:30pm

1) Started at 6th level and ended at 19th, not counting racial modifiers.
2) An alternate future history. We haven't played with those characters in years.
3) It was roughly around a year of play, but it was high intensity stuff with lots of really tough baddies and buckets of xp.
4) I try to be somewhat consistent with D&D game mechanics, but since D&D game mechanics are somewhat abstract and produce results that can be ludicrous or make for poor story telling. I try to look at the mechanics as a flawed attempt to describe how things actually work in the Forgotten Realms and as suggestions, not iron clad rules.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2014-04-17 03:01am

Zarzareal was old, very old. Old enough to remember when time flowed differently, old enough to remember when Law and Chaos were the concerns of immortals and not good and evil. In the early days of existence, just after the gods had imposed order and stability on the chaos of primordial creation. The bright days of the beginning, before the made onslaught of Chaos and the War in the Heavens. Before they knew that some life predated the gods and creation, before the war against Chaos had changed him, before it was known that Law and deception were not irreconcilable. Before they had made Baator their home. What was unfolding in front of him was a skirmish compared to some of the slaughters he had seen or participated in. What made this one matter was the profits to be reaped from it. The potential harvest was all his.

The Astral Plane was thick with night hags. The purple skinned horrors were mounted on nightmares and plucking up souls as they departed from the bodies of the dead. Mostly Khaduli souls, but here and there the silvery doppleganger of a northerner was clutched in a night hag's iron claws before being stuffed into a satchel woven from night terrors. Most of the souls were those that might be called evil, governed and compelled by the magical laws of sympathy into the night hag's hands. Easier to catch and easier to work with. A few, a very few, were not. Just unlucky to be caught. War was like that. Only mortals were foolish enough to believe that the unfairness of the multiverse ended with death.

One of the nightmares pulled up to him, her long dark tongue circling out from between her fangs. The part of him that was active on the Astral drove her away with a glare. Fucking greedy bitches, scavenging from his rightful feast. Nalifan must have reached out, for them to be here in such numbers. A crude, but effective method of limiting the Khaduli from resurrected their dead. The souls of the mighty would be prized by the night hags. Many would escape, but the hags would snare some and drag them to the markets of Hades were they would be transformed into larvae and bartered to all comers.

The Khaduli had frozen a path across the river. It was rough and wide, certainly not suitable for charging cavalry. Instead thirty foot giants of ice slowly walked across the bridge. A swirling blizzard surrounded the ice elementals, a haze of ice magic that would freeze flesh and snuff fire magic. There was no way in all of Baator's Hells that pikemen could stand against the elementals and there was no way anyone but Nalifan had enough magic left to stop them. Behind the elementals were wizards and horsemen.

The Vanyards were beginning to fall back. A wise choice, all things considered. Nalifan might be able to stop to elementals but with wizards backing them up it would be very difficult and very costly. And then there were the rest of the Khaduli, including their Carnivora to consider. Yes, all things considered the bank was lost. Best to retreat in order and preserve the army. That meant it was time to act.

Arrows were still falling on the army, albeit erratically. The blizzard around the ice elementals made shooting near them impossible and the range was very long. Shafts fell here and there, mostly striking shields or failing to pierce armour. A handful bit deeply enough to wound or kill, but it was enough for Zarzareal's purposes. He drew forth the weapon he had carefully prepared for this situation.

It was a four sided black iron shaft three feet long. Runes in Malbaogni, the language of Hell, covered every inch of the javelin's surface and dark power impregnated it's substance. It was made for one cast and one purpose and now was its time to fly. Zarzareal hefted it and waited. More arrows filled the air. "Fly!" he cried and loosed the javelin straight up. It streaked up a hundred yards into the air, turned point down and slammed down.

The javelin punched through a blessed shield and enchanted steel, slid through flesh, and punched out through the backplate. Gore fountained from the wound and the victim slumped in his saddle. Arms reached out to him as he fell out of saddle and into the mud.

"The King! The King has fallen!"
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby The Nomad » 2014-04-17 05:17pm

Yeah it lives!

Nice to see get it back after what, four years? And the battle goes on. A few typos here and there, but the flow is quite nice.

EDIT: though now I wonder... will you one day get back to A Piece at a Time, too?

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2014-04-18 02:07am

The Nomad wrote:
EDIT: though now I wonder... will you one day get back to A Piece at a Time, too?


The more people who ask, the more likely it is to happen.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby SCRawl » 2014-04-18 09:12am

I'm a little confused. Who is the king who was just greased? Elois was actually at the battle?
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Lerryn » 2014-04-18 12:48pm

Well, this is going to make things... interesting. Clever trick with the night hags. Can't tell if Zarzareal is a devil working with the Prince's patron, or perhaps affiliated with the Khaduli's god. Probably the former, though.

I would also love to see more of A Piece at a Time... or any of your other stories you feel like continuing. :)

Edit: Pretty sure that was Elois... the rest of the scene doesn't really make sense, otherwise.

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2014-04-18 03:37pm

SCRawl wrote:I'm a little confused. Who is the king who was just greased? Elois was actually at the battle?


Yes. Even if you cede battlefield command to one of your generals, your cred as a warrior-king goes down if you miss the fight that might determine the survival of your nation.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby SCRawl » 2014-04-18 08:28pm

Imperial Overlord wrote:
SCRawl wrote:I'm a little confused. Who is the king who was just greased? Elois was actually at the battle?


Yes. Even if you cede battlefield command to one of your generals, your cred as a warrior-king goes down if you miss the fight that might determine the survival of your nation.


I only brought it up because -- and correct me if I'm wrong here -- the fact that the king was present hadn't been mentioned prior to his demise. You might want to include at least a throwaway line to that effect on the next editing pass (assuming there is to be one).

Also, you might have inferred this from the interest I've already shown, but I'll make it clear: I enjoy your stories. You have a knack for storytelling.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2014-04-19 01:43am

SCRawl wrote:
I only brought it up because -- and correct me if I'm wrong here -- the fact that the king was present hadn't been mentioned prior to his demise. You might want to include at least a throwaway line to that effect on the next editing pass (assuming there is to be one).


It's a persistent weakness of mine. Everything is in my brain, so it kind of auto includes details I might not have remembered to include because hey, it's always been there right?


Also, you might have inferred this from the interest I've already shown, but I'll make it clear: I enjoy your stories. You have a knack for storytelling.



Thank you.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Enigma » 2014-04-20 02:30pm

Must use the power of MOAR once again!

MOAR!!!!! I command thee, MOAR!!!
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby LadyTevar » 2014-05-01 06:10pm

More please! Finish this already
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2014-05-07 06:20am

Darmira swore bitterly and turned to her officers. "Shut them up!" she ordered.

"Your highness, if your father-"

"The Three take that!" she shouted. "I need order, not chaos! Shut them up and get them under control! Now! If my father has fallen then there is nothing I can do for him but if he lives then he needs this battle won! Go!"

She looked back at the slowly advancing ice giants. They were slow, but their strides were long. They would be on her men very quickly. What use are pikes against a thirty foot tall ice statue? "Signal the pikes to fall back. Tell our mages to hit those things with anything they have left."

"That's not going to work," said Stasia. "They've already shot their best bolts."

"Just do it!" Darmira ordered. "Three above!"

"Nalifan!" said Stasia pointing. Darmira turned her head to follow her gesture. The black horse and rider were riding down toward them, descending from the sky. The drow's entourage of silvery spheres was absent, the defensive magic expended in repelling enemy sorcery.

"Nal!" Darmira shouted as he grew close. "Kill the ice giants!"

He shook his head and dropped down closer. Her companions made room for the nightmare. More than was strictly necessary. "No point," he replied. "Continue the retreat. It was the right move. The whole army needs to fall back."

"This is our one chance. We're letting them take the bank!"

"We can't hold it. Not against those ice elementals and the wizards they have backing it. We've expended too much strength and we can't afford the losses we'll take failing to hold it."

"Then what?"

"What you're doing. Fall back. Orderly retreat. The elementals won't stay long and getting cavalry across that bridge in any numbers will take forever. The bank is expendable. We were never going to hold it. Now, get this army moving!"

Nalifan jerked the reigns and the nightmare went back into the sky. "Signal retreat," Darmira ordered. "Knights and paladins to form the rear guard, archers to back them up! Get everyone moving!"

The army began its slow withdrawal as the ice giants formed up on the north end of the Serpent. As the army slowly fell back the ice giants crumbled into jagged edged boulders. Behind them a column of steppe horses gingerly made their way over the uneven ice bridge. As the army retreated they reached the end of the bridge and began to form up. More and more joined them.

By the time the sun was falling in the west nearly half the Khaduli had crossed the ice bridge and the army had retreated miles away to the north. Nalifan descended from the sky to where the high nobles were gathered around a makeshift bier. King Elois of Vanyard lay in full harness, gold embossed over blessed steel, an ugly black iron javelin piercing his torso. The drow dismounted and approached.

"My lord," said a noble Nalifan didn't recognize, "the king is dead."

"I can see that," said Nalifan. He looked at the circle of royalty and high nobility. "My lords," he addressed them.

"The king is dead," said Prince Sargard, "which means the crown is mine."

"With respect," said Nalifan, "the crown is the regent's until the new king is confirmed. Which has not occurred."

"In ancient custom, not in the modern practice. I am your king."

"Modern practice has been to honour the current Crown Prince as if he were the king as he almost always ascends. That is not, however the law. The law says your stepmother is regent until the election and that is when the king is chosen. You may believe that your ascension is inevitable, but that is not what binds me."

"No one has followed the strict formalities for two hundred years," said a member of the prince's entourage. "The election is form, nothing more." Heads nodded in agreement.

"Perhaps, but that is not what binds me," replied Nalifan. "The geas is strict. Alyssia of Caldor is regent until the election and those who deny her authority are committing treason during a time of war. I am warlord, until the regent or the new king revokes the title. Is that understood?"

The was grumbling, but no forthcoming argument. "The king's body should be prepared for transport after I've finished my examination. We lost the bank, but we were never going to hold the bank. Our objective was to bleed them and they bled. They lost thousands. They lost most of their bound demon berserkers. They lost a lot of wizards, a few of which they will be able to pull back from beyond the veil of death.

"Now, we fall back. Drag them north and bleed them more. The further they come, the thinner they'll be spread. We thin them and bleed them again and again until we can crush them. And then we do. Get sleep, we'll be moving out early. You are dismissed."

For a moment no one moved and then the high nobility began to disperse. "Does that include me?" asked Darmira.

"Hells no," said Nalifan. "Let me take a look at this," he said as bent over the king's body.

"I have doubts with this plan," she said.

"Good," said Nalifan, "because I lied." He reached in and grabbed the blood coated javelin. He jerked the weapon out of Elois's corpse. "That was stuck in there pretty good."

"You lied?"

"Yes. They don't need to know the truth and I don't trust them with it. There's a very good chance one of them will be captured or have his corpse necromantically interrogated. So they get the plausible plan that meets the apparent facts. You, on the other hand, I need to be able to act correctly and independently. That means you get the truth."

She paused for a moment. "So what are we really doing?"

"Pretending to do the above while setting them up for the real kill. Which means, for the moment, preserving the army while retreating and helping the rest of the population of the South evacuate while leaving nothing edible or drinkable behind."

------------------------

The King of Tribes pulled himself out Serpent River. The river had stripped him of weapons, but he did not need weapons to kill. He had broken the pike that pierced him and torn it from his flesh several miles back. The wound, like all of his wounds, had already healed. Neither army was visible. He began walking west.

------------------------

Blight Maker pulled himself out of the dark earth and stood under the light of the distant stars. Before him lay the dark, teeming herds and flocks of the Khaduli. Plague whistled through his decayed teeth. He flexed his bone-talon fingers and felt the overwhelming compulsion of his bindings force his attention to the milling herd of goats.

Dried out tendons creaked as he stepped forward. Goats bleated and tried to back away but he extended his power and their muscles locked. Dead hands reached out and caressed their fleece, leaving his taint behind.

He moved on. He had more to do this night before returning to the earth.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2014-05-07 06:44am

This will be good. Zarzareal's javelin is a nasty weapon but its markings will make it easy to identify to Nalifan, which should make things a bit more difficult for the prince and his ally as it is different from what the Khaduli seem to use and may indicate who used it giving Nal a bit of an edge.

Considering that the King of Tribes' wounds had healed getting rid of him may be difficult like a troll, but not impossible. Dismemberment followed up by fire and/or an acid bath may work given enough time. Or at least dismemberment and then scattering the pieces across the multiverse.

As for Blight Maker, yeah this is the slow and very nasty way to bring down an army.
You know, its remarkably easy to feed an undead army if all you have are just enemies....

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby LadyTevar » 2014-05-07 05:58pm

YAY! New Chapter!!
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby FaxModem1 » 2014-05-08 02:14am

Grimnosh wrote:This will be good. Zarzareal's javelin is a nasty weapon but its markings will make it easy to identify to Nalifan, which should make things a bit more difficult for the prince and his ally as it is different from what the Khaduli seem to use and may indicate who used it giving Nal a bit of an edge.

Considering that the King of Tribes' wounds had healed getting rid of him may be difficult like a troll, but not impossible. Dismemberment followed up by fire and/or an acid bath may work given enough time. Or at least dismemberment and then scattering the pieces across the multiverse.

As for Blight Maker, yeah this is the slow and very nasty way to bring down an army.


Or just incase the evil bastard in concrete. Won't be able to rape, pillage or murder as the foundation of a new hospital.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Rogue 9 » 2014-05-09 05:24pm

Well it's about damn time. :D
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2014-05-10 12:42am

Rogue 9 wrote:Well it's about damn time. :D


Hi Rogue. Long time, no see.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Enigma » 2014-05-10 05:45pm

Imperial Overlord wrote:
Rogue 9 wrote:Well it's about damn time. :D


Hi Rogue. Long time, no see.


Well, if you want to keep him here, then post more chapters! Now!!! :)
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2014-05-15 07:53am

"Is that the wind?" Sylvetria asked.

"What?" replied Trizkel.

"The long grass. There. And there." The warrior pointed.

"There is a breeze, but I don't think so."

"I don't think so either. We have tigers in Vaasa. Big ones. Not many, but they stalked the forest and the high grass planes. They take owlbears ."

"Owlbears," said Mikos. He drew his bow and nocked an arrow. "Really?"

"Really Dalesman. Owlbears and winter wolves." She readied her silver lance. "You only see them if they're not hunting you. Either that or they're on you."

"You humans scare easily," said Elvarra, lightning dancing on her fist.

"There's one behind us," said Trizkel.

"They don't hunt together," said Sylvetria. "Naturally, I mean."

"Different rules in the Beastlands," said Mikos. "Smarter, faster, stronger."

"They're already strong enough to kill you in one blow," said Sylvetria. "Smarter and faster is bad though."

"We've faced dragons together," said Mikos.

"Dragons are bigger targets," she said. "And slower."

"The solution to dodging is more fire," said Elvarra. "More fire and lightning. Scourge the land, scourge the field, scourge the flesh, rend the bones," said Elvarra. "All the same."

"There is a land," said Trizkel as he drew his blades, "on a distant world called The Realm of the Cloud Forest where dragons dwell in numbers. The only thing that can challenge them, besides each other, is a breed of magical tiger that stalks the high forest and draws power from all four Elemental Planes."

"I didn't need to hear that," said Mikos.

"This is the Beastlands," said Trizkel. "These tigers could be them. They would make excellent sentinels."

"Dearest," Sylvetria said, "you can stop now."

"Maybe I shouldn't," he replied. He raised his voice. "Mighty servants of the Cat Lord. We mean no offense. We simply desire an audience with your master."

A terrible voice rose from the grass, harsh and grating. "We are not servants and we have no master, elfling. Would you like to pray to us before you die?"

"Would that buy us any mercy?"

"Perhaps." Harsh laughter came from the grass around them.

"Then I'm not so inclined," said Trizkel. "I'm not the kneeling type."

"Neither are we." There was more laughter.

"Of course," said Trizkel. "I beg your pardon, most noble and exalted felines. I misspoke earlier. What I meant to say is that we would be grateful if your excellencies could point us in the direction of that most divine prince who is sometimes referred to as the Cat Lord."

"Oh he has manners now," another voice said, deeper than the first.

"And is not such a fool," said the first. "Would you beg for your life, elfling?"

"For your pardon yes, for my life no," replied Trizkel.

"What in the Nine Hells of Baator are you doing?" Sylvetria hissed.

"I fucked up," said Trizkel. "I called them servants. I said they had a master. These are cats. The least of them is an aristocrat. I'm apologizing for the insult. And blending in."

"I think I like this one," said a third voice, deep and strong and as smooth as honey. "He has a good head on his shoulders. It would be a pity to tear it off. You seek the King of Cats elfling? Continue the way you are going. It will not be long."

Trizkel bowed deeply. "Thank you, your excellency. Is there some sign I should present to show that I have your gracious permission to other guardians."

"That depends elfling. Can you master your fear?"

"Try me," he replied.

They rose out of the tall grass as if they were stepping out of one world and on to another. Orange and black tigers, the smallest easily a thousand pounds and less than a dozen yards away. They slunk forward and the only sound was the grass rustling in the wind. The adventurers stood absolutely still.

"If they decide to strike," said Mikos, "its going to be really bad."

"I know," said Trizkel.

"Nal will have to bring us back from the other side bad," said Mikos.

"I know."

The tigers slid in, ghosting beside each adventurer, pausing for just a moment to rub their cheeks against their bodies. Then they were in the high grass and a moment later they were gone.

"Fuuuuuck," said Mikos softly.

"That went well," said Kuuni brightly.

"You heard their lordships," said Trizkel. "Let's go."
Last edited by Imperial Overlord on 2014-05-15 08:20pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2014-05-15 09:19am

And so Nal's reinforcements are closing in. The question is, will they arrive quietly or with a bang?
You know, its remarkably easy to feed an undead army if all you have are just enemies....

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2014-05-18 12:30am

It was deep into the night when The King of Tribes walked passed the Khaduli sentinels and outriders. Challenges died on lips when they saw him and belligerence turned to deference. He took no notice of them and strode into the heart of the camp. There, around a blazing campfire, he found the leaders of Twelve Tribes. Grim nods greeted him and they made way for him. A scared silver platter piled with human ribs was hastily sent in his direction.

The leaders of the Khaduli were dressed in human leather marked with dried blood runes and gaudy silks looted from dead nations. Weapons and armour from their finest smiths or plundered from dead of ruined nations girded their bodies. They stank of death and were proud of it.

The King of Tribes paused to drink wine poured into a human skull and then tore into roasted meet. He cleaned off one bone and tossed it into the fire and then washed it down with another brain pan full of whine from his hastily refiled skull. Then he spoke.

"You were right to try and kill that one."

"I failed," Krazad replied.

"Hmmm," The King of Tribes responded, stripping the meat off another rib. He chewed thoughtfully. "You did and that is a thing you rarely do. How bad our losses?"

"Still counting the dead and missing," said Krazad. "Ten thousand at least."

"Too many and yet we can afford it." Wine spilled over The King of Tribes chest as he drained another brain pan. "What else?"

"Almost all of our gnoll ravagers were lost."

"Weak demons bound to slave flesh," The King of Tribes said dismissively. "What else?"

"Five of Vescoria are dead beyond our reach," said a stout woman with zig-zag scars on her cheeks. She wore layers of sky-blue silk and dark died human hide. Silver and rubies glinted on her fingers.

"Five, Tzerika? Why so many? No, I know. The hags. His work."

"I think so," said Krazad

"You must kill him."

"You have said."

"No," said The King of Tribes, "you do nothing else until he is dead. You do not strike the armies of the enemy. You do not break their walls. You do not kill their knights and their priests. You do not direct the Vescoria and the lesser wizards. His death is now the only thing you do."

"I retain my authority?"

"You do. You are still the Carnivora. Take anything and everything you need. He survived you and struck us a hard blow in return. End him before he strikes another."

"As you command, Mighty King," replied Krazad.

"Tzerika, you lead the Vescoria in Krazad's place."

She dipped her head. "As you command."

"Now tell me, how did the battle end?"

"We forced the crossing with ice magic," said Tzerika. "After freezing a bridge, the Vescoria unleashed great ice elementals. They retreated in good order rather than try and stop us."

"Why did you not pursue?"

"The ice bridge was not smooth, oh King of Tribes. Crossing was slow and the elementals were gone by the time we established a beach head. And many had yet to cross."

He grunted in acknowledgement. "They retreated to the north?"

"Yes," said Yezek Irek, Chief of Marherek. He was nearly half again the mass of The King of Tribes and garbed in silver washed scale and bright silks. "They have left hidden spirit traps."

"This elf does not shirk from death."

"No, he does not. He is not like these soft house landers."

"Bastion Bridge is to the west," said The King of Tribes. "It is close enough to harry us but that is all. They cannot retreat there. So they must face us on the open field or retreat to a great fortress. That leaves abandoning most of their lands or entrenching at Vinmark and Cardan. Vinmark has the river. They would choose there, if not for the elf."

"Even with him they will lose in the open," said Yezek. "They will choose the cities."

"Perhaps," said The King of Tribes. "He's a tricky one. If he chooses to face us on the field, he will have some trick that will allow him to win."

"Tricks are not enough," said Yezek.

"You have seen his tricks," said The King of Tribes. "Say that again."

"Dragons are not tricks."

"To him they are." The King of Tribes paused for a moment. "His people. These elves."

"Yes, oh King?"

"They are too much trouble. We kill them all. All but the girl-children. We will see what their blood yields when mixed with our own."
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2014-05-18 10:19am

Imperial Overlord wrote:"To him they are." The King of Tribes paused for a moment. "His people. These elves."

"Yes, oh King?"

"They are too much trouble. We kill them all. All but the girl-children. We will see what their blood yields when mixed with our own."

Yeah, good luck with that, considering drow you'll really need it. Of course finding them would be difficult considering dimensional travel, and the Tribes would lose so badly fighting underground it wouldn't be funny.

Great work as always IO, keep it up.

Couple of context (spelling) mistakes that I spotted, a brain pan full of whine instead of a brain pan full of wine and dark died human hide should have been dark dyed human skin, still great work.
You know, its remarkably easy to feed an undead army if all you have are just enemies....


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