Pest Control (D&D)

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Pest Control (D&D)

Post by Kuja » 2013-06-10 12:18am

Back when I was still playing D&D on a regular basis, I had a habit of rolling weird stuff just to see where I could go with it. My DMs let me get away with my ideas because they knew they could (usually) count on me not to be a teamkilling fucktard. This is based off one such idea.


Pest Control, Part 1

A bird whistled softly. Its low, warbling cry joined the quiet noise of the breeze drifting through the tree branches. The sunlight of midmorning filtered through the forest canopy, highlighting the old, thick trunks and the soft, mossy diry beneath. It was an old forest, lush with the green of late spring fading into early summer. A traveler could well find it peaceful, calming, and perhaps even safe.

This was a very effective lie.

Dirt crunched softly beneath a leather boot. Despite his size and the brutish set to his frame, the masculine figure was surprisingly delicate with its choice of footing as it slunk around the curve of one tree trunk. The orc was garbed in thick hide leggings and a ragged, frequently patched shirt beneath a quietly jingling shirt of mail rings. An axe was rigged to his belt. A pack of supplies hung from his shoulder. In his hands was a shortbow, an arrow nocked to the string.

The orc dared a glance around the tree trunk, surveying the land beyond. Ahead, the forest sloped away in a gentle decline, dotted with tree trunks and shorter scrub. It was just open enough to permit sunlight, but dense enough to make spotting past thirty or forty yards difficult. The orc's dark eyes narrowed as he peered about, his nostrils flaring slightly as he sniffed the air.

With a sudden motion the orc bent almost double and scrambled out from cover, loping as quickly and quietly as he could to the next large tree, putting his back to the rough bark. His heart momentarily sped up in his chest, and he took a deep breath to calm himself. The forest had not reacted to his sudden motion, and the orc stilled himself to listen once more.

I know you're out there, he said to himself.

The scout had lagged behind the rest of the warband, his job to watch for anyone that might be attempting to pick up the group's tail. A loner, somewhat small by orcish standards, he had come to enjoy the tail-end position as it meant long periods of solitude away from the larger, more violent members of his kind. And over the years, he had gotten very good at his job.

He'd first suspected he was being tailed two days ago. Nothing in particular had given him this impression, but the hairs on the back of his neck had refused to go down, and the orc knew he was being watched. He'd double-backed and buttonhooked several times, hoping to catch his pursuer, but nothing had come to light. Too smart to allow himself to believe this meant he'd been mistaken, the orc had slept that night without a fire, huddling beneath the dubious sanctuary of a bush with axe in hand.

He'd survived the night, only to wake up to the knowledge that he was falling behind the rest of his group and the certainty that someone - something - was stalking him. The day had been a heart-clenching series of jolts from tree to tree, nervously looking over his shoulder every few seconds, his hunting bow always in his hand. More than once he'd lifted and drawn, ready to loose an arrow at his mysterious tail, but each time the motion that had set him off had proven to be nothing more violent than a swaying branch or some small animal.

Last night he'd slept in a tree - not the wisest of moves, perhaps, to allow himself to be treed, but he'd gained a relatively stable seat astride a thick branch and once more he slept with blade in hand, ready to hurl it down to crack the skull of his unseen enemy the moment they reared their head.

But it hadn't happened, and so once more the orc had resumed the game of cat and mouse, feeling altogether too much like the mouse for his own comfort. He hurried more and watched less, knowing he'd fallen further behind the warband and hoping he could catch up to their realitve safety - especially before they hit the trade road. Even if he shook his pursuer, it would go worse for him if he missed out on whatever bounty they struck, for even at the best of times his kind was rarely overfed.

And so the orc ducked his head out and ran once more. A cluster of three trees grew around the base of a large rock and the orc sheltered beneath the sweep of one that grew out at an angle and bent upwards in search of sunlight. Crouched, he turned on one booted foot as he watched the forest once more. There was a tiny rustling and he turned to regard it - another stupid squirrel, not even worth the arrow for the mouthful of meat.

But as he turned there was a hiss of air and a sudden thunk, and the orc jolted as an arrow as long as his thigh buried itself in the trunk beside him.

The scout spun and sprung to his feet, pulling back his bow and firing his own arrow in the direction from which the missile had come. His chance of hitting was a thousand to one, but the shot might deter his enemy for a moment as the scout took off running. Even with his heart pounding in terror he remembered to stay low, loping like a gorilla as he ducked and weaved through the trees, sliding out another arrow and nocking it to his shortbow. It wasn't much of a defense, he knew. In the brief moment he'd taken to fire he had seen nothing, and the length of the arrow that had nearly impaled him was such that his opponent almost certainly held a longbow of some type, meaning he was outranged.

So he ran, ducking and weaving. He didn't hear another arrow, but he wasn't stupid enough to believe that meant he was safe. Now that his mysterious enemy had shown his hand he would finish the scout the moment he had a clear shot, and so the orc concentrated on denying him that opportunity.

Then the slope of the ground suddenly increased and the orc's booted foot hit a patch of soft dirt that gave way beneath his weight, and the scout found himself tumbling down into a wet, loamy gully, splashing as he dropped into the thin stream of water at its base. He scrabbled at the ground in panic, kicking at the loose mud to regain his feet, but even as he did so he heard that distinct hiss of air and then something struck him on the leg.

There was surprisingly little pain. It felt like he'd been hit with a thrown rock rather than an arrow. There was the sting of bruised flesh and then a sudden warmth. At first the orc dared to hope he'd gotten lucky and his attacker's arrow had snapped, but then that syupy warmth spread across his leg and even onto the other. The orc twisted to realize that his legs had become entangled by a thick, goopy substance that clung harder and harder as he tried to kick it off.

Then a figure leapt from the treeline above, landing on its feet a short distance down the gully. Even getting an eyeful of it, the orc was at first hard-pressed to discern a real person. The figure's hooded cloak seemed to shift and blend with the surroundings; its fluted, layered design making it resemble loose leaves and scrub brush. Then the figure shook back its hood and the orc's eyes widened as he recognized the distinctive blunted muzzle and fierce eyes of a gnoll.

The hyena-like creature stood a bit taller than the orc himself, limbs ropy with muscle beneath a burnt orange coat of fur spotted with dark patches. He wore a set of leather armor beneath his cloak that bulked his figure, along with a belt festooned with pouches, bags and several weapons. Long gloves with built-in vambraces encased his lower arms. A large quiver was hung at his side, arrows feathered with many different hues protruding from the lip. Sure enough, a bow several feet long was in the ranger's hand, black wood interspersed with silvery highlights.

The goop that had trapped his legs had likewise snared his axe, and so the orc went for another arrow. The gnoll was too quick, however, and the ranger had merely to draw back the arrow on his own weapon and loose it. The act sent one of the feathered shafts zipping through the air to strike at the scout's shoulder just outside his mail shirt. The orc let out a bleat of pain as the fire of the wound took hold, and he realized that the wooden shaft had struck through the joint to pin his arm in place.

The gnoll swung his bow to the outside as he rushed forwards while his arrow hand went to the hilt of a long survival knife and drew the weapon, blade gleaming like liquid silver in the sunlight. As he reached the orc he leapt, bringing a knee down on the scout's ribs and knocking the wind from his lungs. The wicked knife went to his throat, the tip pricking his chin and drawing forth a drop of blood.

The gnoll's golden eyes looked down into the orc's own, and the scout saw scant chance of mercy from that predatory gaze. Then he spoke two words, and the orc was treated to an up-close view of the gnoll's sharp fangs.

"Let's talk," the ranger growled.
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Re: Pest Control (D&D)

Post by MondoMage » 2013-06-10 04:37am

Interesting. Don't often see a tale told from the perspective of RTS "other side" as it were. Is this a one-off, or is there going to be more?

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Re: Pest Control (D&D)

Post by LadyTevar » 2013-06-10 08:39pm

I love it. Can we see more of this Gnoll?
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Re: Pest Control (D&D)

Post by Kuja » 2013-06-10 10:35pm

Yes, there's more with the gnoll on the way, as well as another character I think you'll like Tev. :)
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Re: Pest Control (D&D)

Post by LadyTevar » 2013-06-11 05:47pm

I really can't wait :)
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Re: Pest Control (D&D)

Post by Kuja » 2013-06-12 03:58am

Speaking of..

Part 2


His paws were silent on the dirt floor of the forest. He'd kilted up his concealing robe for the sake of faster movement, forgoing stealth in favor of speed. His longbow remained in his hand, but his survival knife had been returned to its sheath once he'd wiped it clean of blood. In the end the orc had been surprisingly talkative, probably spurred on by the adrenaline after three days of hunting.

As he'd suspected, the warband had come sneaking up from the southlands, using the passes through the southern forest to avoid the kingdom of Bulwark and its formidable defenses against the desert and its bands of savages. The camp at the riverbank hadn't been the victims of any kind of grudge - just easy prey.

The ranger had found himself surprisingly empty when he'd come upon the scene of the pillaged camp. He may have been born to that race, but his dealings with other gnolls had always left a sour taste in his mouth, and his pursuit of their killers had been less motivated by revenge than the knowledge that a warband on the loose in the northlands spelled no good for anyone.

"This is not war," he remembered the monarch of Bulwark saying in a speech to his armies. "This is pest control."

And now the gnoll found himself loping through the woods in pursuit of one of those pests. According to the scout the warband had been planning to hit one of the southern trade ways. If they did that, the consequences could be nasty. The gnoll had seen it happen before - someone loses a caravan of goods, someone else never gets their promised stuff, which means they don't sell to someone else down the line, and eventually everyone gets surly and someone probably ends up getting jabbed with something pointy.

He made a leap over an old, fallen trunk, his belongings jangling against his body with the landing. He ran in long, rangy strides that carried him through the forest much faster than the orc's nervous lope had. He paused only to eat a bite of jerkied meat and a gulp of water, dumping some of the cool liquid over his head and shaking, doglike as his ears flicked a few droplets back. The gnoll had a bit of a mane, a crest that ran from the back of his neck and down between his shoulders, and he shivered as the water filtered through the long, dark hairs.

Then he replaced the waterskin and he was running again. There came a point when the trees parted briefly and he could see the snow-capped peaks of the midrange mountains in the distance, and he knew the trade way wasn't far. As he passed one particularly gnarled tree he paused, coming to an abrupt halt. For a moment the blood rushing in his ears and his furiously pumping heart obscured his hearing, but as he breathed deep and listened, the distant sound of metal clanging reached him. Resisting the urge to curse the gnoll bolted forwards once more. By the sound of it the orcs had not only reached the trade way, they had already found some manner of prey.

Sprinting through the forest, Rither Sharpfang hoped he didn't arrive too late to turn the tables.

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

It should have been an easy run.

The spring thaw had ended, and the rushing waters of the mountain streams had finally retreated to manageable levels. The forests and the fields were brimming with clumsy young, and the otherwise aggressive predators were left disinclined to bother with the train of oxen and pack horses.

The first omen that something was amiss had come during the morning. They had been unable to water as planned where the southernmost tributary crossed the dirt road, as the river had been fouled by a pair of corpses hung up on the rocks mid-stream. Humans both, they were no more than a day or two dead, their belongings thoroughly rifled, their bodies riddled with short black arrows. Ominously, the older men amongst the guards had declared them to be utterly unlike those used by the local gnolls - the tribal creatures prided themselves on their distinctive fletchings...

Kari had never seen the like before, and she watched as a grim-looking caravan master pulled Charr, guard captain aside into a long, whispered conference. Even before they broke apart she knew what his word on the matter would be, and was forced to contain her resentment as she was told to stay close to the group today and leave the outriding to the veterans. She folded her arms and resisted, of course, but his word on the matter was depressingly final.

Despite that, in the end it was the sharp-tongued elementalist that gave the warning. It happened some hours after the grim find, as the caravan paused for water at the next fording. If she had been thoroughly questioned by the elders, Kari would have had difficulty pinpointing just what gave it away - a twinge in the river stones? A shift in the wind through the trees? The smell of death and blood came rushing over her and without hesitation the short woman stood in her saddle and stuck a pair of fingers in her mouth to let out a shrill whistle.

She had just enough time to whistle twice sharply before a deep-voiced roar issued from the trees and the attackers came boiling out of the forest like a tide of green-grey flesh. They were shorter than the stoneborn, garbed in ramshackle mail and leather interwoven with plate pieces and carrying all manner of weaponry - less an army than a great screaming mob. Though she had never seen such a being in the flesh before, Kari recognized them for what they were from the paintings and stories of the elders - orcs.

Rather than retreat to the dubious safety of the wagons, as the attackers came forth Kari Quickflame leapt from her saddle to meet them head on, drawing out a pair of long, gleaming daggers that glinted brightly in the sunlight. As she ran to meet them she slid the edge of one curved blade against the other, creating sparks that blossomed into a halo of hot, energetic flame that all but obscured her form as it twisted and curled about her. Her blows sent her enemies reeling, every sweep of her arm or stamp of her foot accompanied by the boom of air as the crackling fires eagerly devoured orc-leather and orc-hide alike.

All around her the stoneborn rallied, and armed guards soon fought beside the elementalist as Charr's voiced was raised in a great bellow to drive the orcs back into the wood. That would prove to be a tall order, for despite their skill and the fact that most of their men stood a full head taller than their foes, the stoneborn were outnumbered nearly four to one.
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Re: Pest Control (D&D)

Post by LadyTevar » 2013-06-12 06:07pm

:)
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Re: Pest Control (D&D)

Post by moglwi » 2013-06-15 10:14am

can you tell us the Gnoll and elementlist builds please I presume the Gnoll hs ranger but I am sure there is more:)

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Re: Pest Control (D&D)

Post by Kuja » 2013-06-15 08:26pm

The gnoll is indeed a straight-up ranger, a character I played once upon a time. The 'pest control' line referenced came from the campaign in which he participated.

Kari is a little tougher to pin down, as rather than a D&D character she's based on a Guild Wars character belonging to a friend of mine - substituting 'stoneborn' for the norn. If I had my old splatbooks I might try to make a build for her, probably something along the lines of druid/wardancer or maybe dervish.
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Re: Pest Control (D&D)

Post by Kuja » 2013-06-15 08:29pm

And since I don't want to post here without leaving an update-

Part 3

Rither gave in to the urge to curse as he finally caught sight of the battle through the trees. There were more orcs than he'd anticipated - the damned scout had lied to him! No, the gnoll reconsidered quickly, he probably hadn't. More likely he was about as good at counting as a regular orc. Either way, the point was moot, for the warband had indeed hit a caravan and were doing their best to overrun the defenders. Fortunately for the northlanders, the caravan guard consisted of a good number of big, brawny stoneborn most of whom stood a full head or two taller than the orcs themselves. Instead of a cherry, the orcs had found themselves faced with a big, hard coconut.

Still, the orcs had done a good job of setting their trap. They'd pounced on the caravan in the midst of a shallow valley where the orcs could harass them from the slopes as well as charge them from the treeline. Short, black arrows were stuck here and there in the sides of the carts or sticking out of the ground. Remaining hidden high atop the ridge, Rither went to work judging the arrows' probable flight by the angle of their landing. His namesake fangs worked beneath his muzzle as he quietly talked himself through backwalking the process and before long his gaze zeroed in on a trio of bowmen huddled on a ledge overlooking the depression.

The gnoll started to reach for an arrow, then paused. He drew forth one of the red-feathered shafts from his quiver, the long projectile sharpened to a point but bereft of a sharpened head. Rather, the shaft was topped by a shiny threaded metal plug like the length of a screw. The ranger nocked the projectile to his bow and pinched it there as he dug into a pouch for a fat, conical device that looked more like a child's top than an arrowhead. Nevertheless he fitted the metal bit to the end of his arrow, screwing it into place and using a pair of fingers to tweak a small switch at the neck of it.

Immediately a steady tiktiktiktiktiktiktik noise began to emanate from the device.

Rither lifted his bow, pulled, and loosed. The arrow flew straight and true, burying itself in the back of the center of the three orcs. The unfortunate target threw up his arms and yelped, but even as his companions rose to scatter their time was up. With a loud bang the ledge vanished in a sharp blast of fire that left black smoke curling from the ground and a trio of crispy orc corpses.

Well. Two and a half. Give or take.

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

The sound of the blast wrong-footed the elementalist, and amidst the chaos of the fighting she jerked her head upwards, frantically scanning the surrounding hillsides for the source of the bang. She'd been the only elementalist on this trip, and she hadn't felt the distinctive flux of another...

"Dana above," she cursed as she caught sight of a smoke cloud rising from high up among the tree trunks. Ducking behind one of the men to give herself a moment's breathing room, she turned her sharp eyes inward as she called out, "Charr! Charr, there's something else-"

She was cut short as she caught sight of the guard captain. He'd fallen into a supine position, back braced against one of the wagons. His hand was clamped to his throat where one of the orcs' black arrows as dug into the meat of him, blood spurting from around his gloved fingers to stain his jerkin. Even as her eyes found him he grimaced and lifted his sword, swinging it in her direction, and even without a sound she could overlay his gruff voice atop the motion - "quit gawkin' and get back in there!"

She nodded sharply and swung around, striking her daggers off one another to once more produce a whoosh of heat and the crackle of flame. As she dove back into the fray she was forced to leap over the body of a fallen comrade, and she swallowed a curse. The stoneborn were good fighters, but the numbers were beginning to tell. She barreled into the closest orc and knocked him from his feet, sending him flying into the bodies of his nearest comrades. The redhead snorted as her fellows descended upon the disorganized knot, by which time she was already turning her back in search of a better fight.

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

Rither picked his shots with caution. His quiver was enchanted with a far greater supply of arrows than one might have expected looking at the feathered butts, but it wasn't infinite, and replacements for some of his magical arrows could be expensive.

So he stuck to his normal, brown-feathered arrows and fired into the melee, shafts striking down orcs with ruthless efficiency. At first he preyed upon the other snipers, one by one taking away the orcs' ranged support to leave their fighters with nothing at their backs. In the midst of the battle, nobody seemed to notice quite where the murderous shafts were coming from, and so Rither was free to stay atop the ridge and pluck off this savage or that.

It wasn't enough to turn the tide, though, and Rither kept a sharp eye out for whatever shaman or chieftain might be leading the orcs. Killing that one might break their spirit. He abandoned his hiding spot and dashed from tree to tree, pausing here and there to pick off another orc when the opportunity presented itself. Soon enough, his gaze fell upon a large orc close to the head of the caravan brandishing a great double-headed axe, attended by a one-eyed shaman that carried the spear of the orcs' war god. Rither resisted the urge to smile as he saw them fighting side by side.

His fingers closed around the butt of one of two arrows feathered with black fletchings. At the tip of it was no mere arrowhead but an odd contraption, a small cagelike device holding a blunted tip and a small scrap of burlap. Rither nocked the arrow to his bow and lifted it up, leaning forward to bite off the small metal tab that held the tip locked in place. Then he lifted, aimed cautiously - just one of these arrows could run him a few thousand gold pieces - and loosed.

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

It was luck more than anything that Kari happened to be looking in the right direction to see sunlight glinting off metal and the movement of an arm. She paused, squinting into the trees, and her eyes widened as she caught sight of a distinctive muzzle and patterned fur. Unlike the orcs, the redhead had seen such creatures in the flesh before, and her lip curled at the sight of the gnoll. Some mercenary, hired to guide them to the trade way? Even as she thought of it the creature fired, and Kari watched as the fat-headed arrow sailed from the trees.

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

The arrow soared lazily through the air and came down at the feet of the big orc chief.

As it had been designed, the frontal tab snapped backwards into the burlap scrap. Without warning the chieftain, his pet cleric and several of the closest orcs were lifted off their feet in a burst of roaring wind. A vortex took shape around them, twisting and distorting their savage forms. Then, as suddenly as it appeared the howling rift collapsed in on itself. In the space of an instant the arrow, the orc chief, the cleric, a handful of their warriors and a fair-sized chunk of the road all vanished - an ignominious and abrupt end to the would-be bandits' career.

A moment later, the ranger was rewarded for his work as a ball of fire exploded against the tree trunk next to him, accompanied by the distinct sound of a howl of feminine outrage, and even as he was ducking back into the trees his sharp ears picked out the sound of a voice from the ongoing fight - "tha' was MY kill, ye furry ogre's arse!"
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Re: Pest Control (D&D)

Post by LadyTevar » 2013-06-15 08:41pm

Never kill-steal. It's impolite :)
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Re: Pest Control (D&D)

Post by Raesene » 2013-06-16 05:22am

Has the ranger used one of those ?
A very special arrow. Link to forum.rpg.net

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Re: Pest Control (D&D)

Post by Kuja » 2013-06-17 11:02pm

Yes indeed. :)

I saw a description similar to that one and brought it to my DM asking if I could make a weapon out of it. After some mulling it over, he decided to let me roll with it, but if it got to be an issue he reserved the right to pull the plug on its use.

Things actually turned out better than expected, because as ganktastic a weapon as the void arrow seems, it comes with some serious drawbacks:

-it costs quite a bit (on the order of 22,000 gold base, he let me knock the price down some) while being only good for one use
-anything with windwall/deflection/arrow snatching or the like renders it borderline useless or worse, can turn it against you
-anything with plane shift obviously renders it a stopgap at most, and a dimensional anchor leaves it useless

As a result it isn't really hard to keep void arrows as the occasional nuke weapon rather than turning them into a mainstay. Rither mostly used them for getting rid of superheavies like the orc champion above, or on one occasion, opening a door (in my defense, we were on a timetable...).
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Re: Pest Control (D&D)

Post by Kuja » 2013-06-19 03:33am

Part 4

Rither bared his fangs and almost submitted to the temptation to take a shot at the redhead just out of spite. He quelled the impulse, however, and as he scurried away from the fireball he swung his bow to the side, drawing his knife and slashing it through the neck of an orc that came too close. While Rither wasn't as good a knife-fighter as he was a bowman, the long blade was keen and slid through the greyish-green flesh without a problem.

By now most of the orcs were scattering. The fury of the stoneborn had been roused, and as the savages lost their will to fight most of the caravan guard went so far as to chase them into the surrounding trees, slaying those still within reach rather than just letting them run. That just made Rither's job all the easier, as he dropped his knife and went back to shooting, singles and pairs dropping as he blew through his nonmagical brown-feathered arrows with a speed that would have annoyed most elves.

As the battle died down, the gnoll took the opportunity to hide himself once more, gathering up his knife and loosing his kilted cloak to shroud himself once more in the colors of the forest. He'd aided the caravan - probably helped save it - but stoneborn weren't overly known for their fondness of gnolls. Not that he could blame them...but still. Best bet would be to stay low and slink away once they'd stopped to catch their breath.

"What, not even staying ta demand a reward?" a voice said nearby as the elementalist stepped from around a tree. Her daggers were still naked in her hands, the blades letting off wisps of smoke from their fiery display.

The gnoll reacted fluidly to the nearby presence, backpedaling and spinning to face her as he smoothly put arrow to string, though he kept it pointed towards the ground rather than aim it at her. He hadn't had time to raise his hood, and so the pair of them faced each other without impediment.

" Would be our corpses burnin, if ya hadn't come along. Can we offer anythin? We lost little..." she went on. Ignoring the fact he was probably eager to be gone, the redhead who stood nearly two heads shorter than anyone else in her party seemed curiously at ease with the gnoll. Bright green eyes studied his cloaked figure with a fearlessness that bordered on reckless, and a pair of scars across one cheek showing that had not always been without consequence.

Despite himself, Rither caught himself being momentarily distracted by the female's aepparance. She was short for a stoneborn, though that still meant she stood nearly eye-to-eye with him, and she had...curves. And arms. And legs.

But she was still what she was, and Rither was still a gnoll, and so his golden eyes narrowed with a hint of suspicion. "Orcs are dead, trade way's safe, fine enough reward for me," he growled softly. Still, he couldn't resist the chance to ask - "arrows?"

She sheathed one of her daggers, leaving the other out as she reached to her belt and withdrew several of his brown-fletched arrows. Most looked worse for wear, most of them still bloodied, one or two without heads. " Recovered a few. They be good arrows," she said, unapologetic. "We don't have shafts, but we dae have a case'o forgecast steel heads. I can explain tha loss of a double fistfull and enough quil t'fletch the lot of em." It was a generous enough offer, one their client would have protested vociferously. Still, a double fistfull was a damn sight better than total loss so he could object all he wanted as far as she cared.

"An I still say blowing t'shaman to smithereens before I could cook him was a dirty trick.." she added a moment later with a narrowing of her green eyes. She jerked her head to toss a stray lock of wavy red hair over her shoulder and gestured impatiently. " Now y'want these or not?"
The gnoll turned his head slightly to one side as he eyed her, but then he slowly eased his nocked arrow back and took it from the string, turning it dextrously to slide it back into the quiver. Swinging the bow to one side and out of the way he stepped close enough to close his hand around the gathered shafts just above her own. As he did so the cloak fell away from his shoulder to reveal an insignia worked into the armor - that of Farlanghn, the Traveller. It was the mark of the Wayfarers, a loose coalition of rangers that watched the roads and trade ways in the midlands, a group marked by their impartial stance despite their various nations of birth.

The vast majority were human, a good number of them elves. A few halflings. The occasional dwarf or half-orc looking for a life of solitude. No gnolls.

Or, perhaps one gnoll.

"Thank you," he said as he took the arrows from her grasp, looking them over with an almost-human frown on his hyena features. "One fistful would be enough," he said after another moment.

"Pfft," she blew a breath of air out between her lips. "Wit' tha size of cargo ye just saved? Ye could carry off the case and it wouldn't get more than an irritated letter back t'me father." Her tone was nonchalant as she turned, belying the importance of said father. She opened her mouth to elaborate further before closing it and droping into a half crouch, loping off to catch a limping greenskin as it slithered into the shadows of the forest. Those curves moved easily with speed and she soon dissapeared into the selfsame trees. There followed a muffled whoosh of flame and bits of meat and tree alike showered the wooded hillside.

The leather of the gnoll's nostrils flexed slightly as he snorted. Then he turned and, with slow and careful steps, made his way down the hillside towards the cavaran, stopping here and there to pilfer the fallen orcs of a few pieces of supplies. Rations were rations, nasty and tough no matter who made them, and while orcish wood was cheap stuff, occasionally they got their hands on good bits of metal that a smith would be pleased to rework into something useful.

His hackles came back up as he neared the caravan, and the stoneborn that ranged from standing even with him to towering well over his head greeting him with a series of wary glares. Still, when he silently held out the clutch of damaged arrows that matched the ones most of them had seen sticking out of orc corpses their hostility faded - slightly - and one bearded, half-bearish example of their race with a bandage around his neck came forward to clutch his hand in a crushing grip that made the gnoll wish he'd settled for a nod.

The redhead made a reappearance, binding a fresh wound on her arm that explained the...slight overkill on the hillside above. "We arn't repaying yer savin our biscuts t'feed ya t'the human lot," she growled, already moving to climb through the one of the wagons and rummaging through the crates.

There were some irritated looks as the woman spoke out of turn but there was generally agreement in the deep rumble of the stoneborn's response. Finding what she sought, she shoveled arrowheads into a sack, easily doubling her earlier offer. "Three fists of orcs. And a greater shaman," she said as she returned, dropping several objects on the road. She'd done some looting of her own - a trio of tribal fetishes, each signifying a different clan.

The gnoll frowned, stroking a thumbclaw along his muzzle in thought. "Very well," he finally said. He held a hand out for the arrowheads. "These will slay more orcs," he promised as he took the sack of them.

Once he had them, the gnoll used a thumb to pull the hood of his cloak back up and turned to lope off into the forest. For a few seconds he was still discernable as a living being, but soon enough the magic of his concealment reduced his appearance to the movement of branches and leaves in the wind. And soon enough he had faded entirely back into the forest. He might have seemed almost a ghost.

If not for the dent he'd left in the road.
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MondoMage
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Re: Pest Control (D&D)

Post by MondoMage » 2013-06-19 07:28am

Kuja wrote:Part 4
Despite himself, Rither caught himself being momentarily distracted by the female's aepparance. She was short for a stoneborn, though that still meant she stood nearly eye-to-eye with him, and she had...curves. And arms. And legs.
Ah, a leg man. Nothing wrong with appreciating a nice set of legs. And arms. And curves. Especially when they're still attached. :D

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