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Author Topic: A decent story, not a community game. Savedashes (Warning, a little Dark)  (Read 8705 times)

Truean

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The room and everything in it duly glowed from a tinted teal metal. The elegant Dwarven Sugar serving trough was surgically sterile, mocking the absolutely nightmarish grime that had once been Dwarves outside the noble antechamber. The shivering survivors couldn't bring themselves to touch the blindingly white spider silk napkin next to the serving tray. They had never seen such a thing before. The crystal glass water picture shook and all eyes darted to the teal metal door. Were there more of them out there, the eyes? Did they know we still breathed? Would they stop us too? The water picture shook again, falling off the serving tray and shattering on the floor. The sound failed to mask the obscure dwarven profanity coming beyond the teal metal of the noble's office door. The survivors let a long slow shiver subside down their spines. A series of carefully measured, hammered taps came from within the Baron's office.

   The bruise matched the purple robe. Left holding his face and propping himself up off the floor with one arm, the Baron shouted in rage at the insolence of a military dog daring to give him pain. "How DARE you, you son of a bitch! I'll have your head! When the King hears of your insolent treachery at a time li...."

   The dog stood straight, staring blankly at an empty corner of the room, his swordarm still outstretched from striking the noble's face with the flat of his blade. "I am the one with the sword. I don't need to tell anyone anything to act. Who may have whose head?" He said the words far too calmly.

"You are a soldier! You will obey orders or be hammered!" shouted the baron. His composure was stretched thin like cloth over shards of shattered glass, the rough edges starting to show through.

Still without looking at the noble, with the absolute calm of only just accepting the full, horrifying logic of a nightmare made real, " I am Musrin Uristaol, Captain of the Ashen Arms, 5th battlegroup. This entire  citadel followed orders and was slaughtered all the same. For your cabinets, for your mirror frames, for your tea sets, they died for...." The sentence hung in  mid air, resisting the gravity of the situation and answering itself at the same time. What had they died for, the lack of an answer answered the question.

   The bruise slowly spread on the noble's face. His head turned to the silent soldiers in the room. "Lieutenant! Arrest the captain! Find the Sherrif! The Hammerer! Charge him with assaulting a member of the nobil...!  His sentence was cut by searing pain from his leg. The leg was cut by the captain's sword.

   "Are you sure you can afford to talk to anyone else faced with me?" Said the captain with eyes still closed, sword still in the wound. His only answer was silence and the baron's screaming. "Lieutenant Irua. Please, give the baron his noble chisel and five fresh stone tablets. He is going to draft three royal promotions, an order endorsing the founding of a new colony, and a royal decree forever closing the doors of the citadel."   

   "What! No! Lieutenant! Arrest the Capta...!" All that finished the sentence were twisted screams from a sword twisted.

   "You will henceforth address me as Commander and Irua as Captain. Use your arms to chisel the decrees or lose them." A series of carefully measured, hammered taps came from within the Baron's office.

   On the surface, faced with welcome light forgotten amid unimaginable eyes of darkness, the Commander asked, "That will do it then?" His face still entirely too stern as he questioned.

With a slight tear the new captain answered "Yes." She looked at the lever switch in abject horror. The few remaining soldiers and survivors shared her dread. They waited for the commander to give his horrid order while hating the thought of being the one ordered. Some wondered if he would at least let them draw lots or have some way to live with themselves. The order never came. With the simplicity of a practiced motion, as if merely picking up his sword for the day, the commander pulled the lever himself. The roar was deafening. The rubble filled crater was as deep as the tallest tower and twice as wide. So ended The Citadel of Wonders and began Savedashes.

   The Sun was horrible to him; he hated it. It was hot and big and blinding and bright and boorish. Chained to a thrice damned tree in the sun of all forsaken things, he tried to struggle against his bonds. It was no use and his newly wounded leg reeled in agony again as thanks for his efforts. He squinted and saw a figure coming from the distance. It came alone. Commander Musrin stepped toward that tree for what would be the last time. He set down water, not ale, dried meat, not roasts, and began to turn to leave. "If you ration it, they should come for you before you have nothing left."

"Your Sword!" The baron chuckled. His eyes laughed up at the commander and into the shade his body provided.

"You're exactly like me! They died for your Sword!" The baron's pain was drown out by his laughter. His eyes were smiling down at the teal metal sword hanging from the commander's belt.

   He froze as the implications quickly crashed over him. The questions didn't fully form in his mind, but the fragments battered his very soul. They came in edged, half formed pieces silently and swiftly scraping his mind. "Did I... was it... used to... the eyes ... the eyes looked ... tried... saved everyone... killed them as fast as... there was no end to...  I DIDN'T KNOW!" His silence was deafening; it could not drown out the baron's laughter.

Shaking, he drew his sword and threw it off as great a distance as he could. He left that place and never looked back.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 06:30:00 pm by Truean »
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The kinda human wreckage that you love

Current Spare Time Fiction Project: (C) 2010 http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=63660.0
Disclaimer: I never take cases online for ethical reasons. If you require an attorney; you need to find one licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Never take anything online as legal advice, because each case is different and one size does not fit all. Wants nothing at all to do with law.

Please don't quote me.

darkflagrance

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Re: A decent story, not a community game. Savedashes
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2010, 11:58:35 pm »

I enjoyed the story, though it had a few typos.

But was the Commander really so unaware that he didn't realize his sword was made of that infamous blue metal?

And the revolution occurred not because of arbitrary mandates but because the dwarves dug too deeply?
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Truean

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Re: A decent story, not a community game. Savedashes
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2010, 10:42:21 am »

Quote
But was the Commander really so unaware that he didn't realize his sword was made of that infamous blue metal?

You follow orders, it becomes habit, you don't notice. You do what they tell you; you use what they tell you. No questions asked. All orders followed:

"With the simplicity of a practiced motion, as if merely picking up his sword for the day, the commander pulled the lever himself."

Quote
And the revolution occurred not because of arbitrary mandates but because the dwarves dug too deeply?

Sort of. Both. Digging was required to fulfill the mandates, which lead to more mandates, which lead to the eyes....

The masterwork blue metal sword lays somewhere in a vast field It is lost; the memories remain.

Next update forthcoming soon.
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The kinda human wreckage that you love

Current Spare Time Fiction Project: (C) 2010 http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=63660.0
Disclaimer: I never take cases online for ethical reasons. If you require an attorney; you need to find one licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Never take anything online as legal advice, because each case is different and one size does not fit all. Wants nothing at all to do with law.

Please don't quote me.

Truean

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Re: A decent story, not a community game. Savedashes
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2010, 06:00:54 pm »

   "I didn't know a Dwarf could drink too much." It was a sobering realization. She found it hard to tell the commander and harder yet to take. The fire's glow gave his beard a warm glow.

   "Coler's still screaming half the night then is he Captain Irua?"
 
   She didn't say anything and that said everything. She remembered he had been cheerful once and wondered if he ever would be again.  A moment stretched in silence, perhaps mourning for what was inside of him. Though, she hoped that was not the case. "Reula's giving him the rum he begs for. We won't be running out soon, but he's really overdoing it."

   "Let the poor bastard have it. I'd want it too." He reflexively closed his eyes for a moment--a temporary and vain attempt not to remember how Coler was found. It did what it was intended to avoid. Some poor Dwarf's severed arm flew at three horrid eyes backlit by a magmatic glow, a fatal distraction to the horror. It feel over the bodies, over the bodies, over the bodies, over the bodies, and into the magma. Wailing and the sight of a bleeding, torn beard, were the only indication of a survivor. It was not his favorite memory of a ruby lit cavern sky.  A rustle jolted him back to the present.

   Both Dwarves turned to the underbrush as  hushed voices tried not to be noticed. They gave up their attempts at stealth, "Um, excuse us. We're were real sorry for bargin' in on you like this. It's just we don't have as much choice as we'd like. Do... do you think you could put your spear down Ma'am?" The two human boys were visibly shaking. They said goblins and trolls drove them from their homes; leaving their clan to run. The goblins could have caught them at any time, but preferred driving them onward in fear, hunting down the stragglers. It was a twisted sport.

   "I suppose you're going to ask for our help," Commander Musrin's all too calm voice asked while knowing the answer and waiting for none. "If the goblins are behind you and you're behind us, then they're behind us. If  they can outmove your wagons, they can outmove ours. How many of you are there? If you don't know, tell me who does."

***

   The other Dwarves offered him a spot to sleep that wasn't under the wagon. He nearly bit the left side of his cheek from the inside  and strained his eyes in a mixture of insanity, disbelief, hatred, paranoia,  and absolute fear. His head slightly but rapidly shook and told them in silence to leave the rum and get out. They left  and left the rum. He lay with a crossbow pointed up under his red chin. His beard was only beginning to grow back--the face still red from the tearing.

   His mind kept going back to the middle of day that started and ended it all. He couldn't begin to let anyone know just what he was feeling, and he couldn't stop it. He didn't move for four days after it and he still hadn't really spoke. The Herbalist--concerned--gave him medicine for his poor mind. And now the red ones made him fly and the blue ones helped him fall and he thought he'd blow his brains against the wheelwall. And as the fragments of his skull  would begin to fall like pixie dust, he'd finally think happy thoughts! He'd just think happy thoughts, and he'd fly home!

He didn't want his mind to remember the things or what he said, "The legends say we aren't supposed to go down this deep.... I'm not superstitious either.... But they use the words "death and horror" far too much.... I don't think it's worth it.... Please...." Now, honestly that's what he said to her. What he said to the baronness and her.... What he said to her was to run and what he said to her....

   He punched a hole in another barrel of rum.  It burned over where his beard once was. He didn't care and nearly choked.

"I TOLD YOU! NO! NOOOOOOOOooooooo!" The cry was part admonishment but mostly a desperate plea to a ghost. Where did the rum end and the tears begin?

Think happy thoughts; think happy thoughts; think happy thoughts; think happy thoughts; just happy thoughts; just think happy thoughts;  and just think happpy thoughts! And we'll all fly home! We'll fly home....

What he said to her....

He fell asleep and hoped his finger's deadweight would pull the trigger. He would be disappointed.

***

   She stepped over the boot sticking out from under the wagon. She wouldn't have looked at him if the barrel didn't roll off him and she didn't look to see much even after that distraction. At least he wasn't screaming now.... She walked into the grove and saluted reflexively. "Sir, we can make the preparations. We're still not sure how many of them there are. Though, we should be able to buy the civilians enough time to get to the nearest city and thin their ranks enough to be manageable. They'll be alright behind city walls....
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 02:13:53 pm by Truean »
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The kinda human wreckage that you love

Current Spare Time Fiction Project: (C) 2010 http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=63660.0
Disclaimer: I never take cases online for ethical reasons. If you require an attorney; you need to find one licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Never take anything online as legal advice, because each case is different and one size does not fit all. Wants nothing at all to do with law.

Please don't quote me.

Truean

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   He always loved this part. Looking over the reeds, the prey never gave up on their slow ones. Their compassion was just a weakness in a pretty package, to be ripped open. Even now he could see them trying to prop up the fat old woman as she hunched over under a blanket to keep warm. She barely managed to prop herself up on that walking stick. They all agreed, she would make a plump meal and sprang from the grass reeds  at her.  Only one rode a perverse looking wolf, the rest on foot. She was limping too, so it wouldn't even be a challenge.

   The beast and its rider sprung over the old woman as the younger men around her scattered to avoid them. The walking stick skewered both beast and rider; its sharp metal point stuck through them. He died confused after stopping in mid air for a moment before the horizon went vertical and then dark. The rest of the hunting party looked on, salivating at the chance to take their leader's place. The old woman was not.... They slowly surrounded the dwarf woman coated in steel, as she pulled her spear from the belly of a beast. 

   "Who will be the first? Or will you come at me all at once?" calmly questioned Captain Irua putting a helm over her head. Her shield rested in her loose grip against her hip. She saw all seven of them coming at once with axes, with swords, with clubs. She thrust her spear into the second to last one on her right-hand side. Immediately after, she leveraged her spearhand  gauntlet's elbow into the one next to him, the farthest  right. This pulled her body to the right and out of range of most of the other 5 goblins.  The ones she was still in range of heard weapons clanging against her shield. She jumped back and left room between her and her attackers. One was slumped over the ground, blood pouring from his face, another left holding his jaw, and five left staring on in disbelief.

   She repositioned her spear;  the shaft no longer crossed her body residing between her breastplate and shield. That was an old trick letting her thrust and elbow at once on her right side. Stupid as they were, these goblins probably wouldn't fall for it again. They had grown more hateful, but now were cautious as well. They slowly encircled her and it was nothing she hadn't seen before far too many times.

   She was charged with two from the front and one from the rear. The other three left standing were waiting for other mice to spring the trap, so they could step over corpses for the cheese. The rear attacking goblin lifted an axe for a cruel chop and found the butt of a spear in his throat. She didn't want to risk getting the point stuck yet and had two more to worry about besides.  The maces clanged harmlessly off her shield. The right one ate a spearhead and the left tasted the shield's rim. After quick consideration and being reminded of his now swelling Jaw, a goblin tried to run. He fell with a spear sticking up from his back.

    The remaining two charged her. Her shield blocked a sword and her empty spearhand caught an axehilt in mid swing.  Sword blow after swordblow landed on her shield as she fought for the axe. Finally, she kicked the goblin in the stomach, knocking the wind and the fight out of him. He died by his own axe. She fought the last remaining one to a near standstill. Finally he tripped on a stone dropping his sword. She stepped on the side of his head with one food and repeatedly drove her steel boots into his face long after the point she should have stopped. After some time, she finally did.

   The human men gathered around her once more, some shaking, some merely staring, none knowing what to do. "Grab their weapons and shields. Leave the bodies." She turned away from them; they would not see the fear she had finally permitted herself to feel.

She always hated this.
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The kinda human wreckage that you love

Current Spare Time Fiction Project: (C) 2010 http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=63660.0
Disclaimer: I never take cases online for ethical reasons. If you require an attorney; you need to find one licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Never take anything online as legal advice, because each case is different and one size does not fit all. Wants nothing at all to do with law.

Please don't quote me.

Truean

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    All she knew was pain; she could not remember anything before the goblins took her. She was past the point of believing there was anything before the goblins took her. Delirious, she saw the tent roof hanging overhead and a fallen tree, or half of a fallen tree, serving as a banquet table. Her eyes opened wide at the unbearable pain from her shoulders and she saw… her arms on the table. Roasted, on a wooden plate. She screamed in utter terror and fainted. Was there laughing?

    Now that the armless main course was properly marinated in its own fear, a goblin came to the head of the table where it lay slumped over. The head was already in perfect position for the axe to fall on. How considerate of it. Other goblins came to haul off the body; a few minutes later they came back for the head. Good thing too. They began to worry it wouldn’t keep. For some reason the hunting parties had begun to take longer to bring their kills back to camp. Perhaps they were having too much fun….

   Sometime into the otherwise leisurely (if cruel) feast a ragged goblin stumbled through the side of the tent. He was covered in blood and it seems missing most of an arm. “DWARVES! Dwarves helping the humans! Killing us!” He was rabid, frightened, and ruining the meal! With a clap and a gesture an ogre grabbed him by the throat and held him up against the massive log supporting the tent roof. He looked down in terror at an armored goblin wearing an eyepatch.
“How many!? Where!? Say what you know!” came the voice from the armor.

   The words spilled from the goblin’s bleeding lips, somehow making it past the ogre’s hand on his throat. He told of how he had barely escaped by kicking, shoving another goblin onto a dwarven sword and running away while everyone else charged. He had only seen one Dwarf. No, it was not injured. No he did not recognize symbols on its armor. No it was not tired. He bore all the bad news he had. With a clap and a gesture, the ogre snapped the goblin’s neck. It received a portion of meat and seemed happy.

     The armored goblin sat back on his bone chair—some cursed human’s skull leered on in agony over his left shoulder. The others continued with the feast as if nothing had happened, quite happily eating. He sat and thought. This was not a good thing. The rest of the bloodthirsty morons wanted to kill Dwarves and he did too. However, he was cautious. He had seen this before at other times, at other places, and probably with other Dwarves. He would need to find some way to deal with this. Dwarven meat was the tastiest, but it was often the hardest to get under all that metal…. You had to stab extra hard for the best treats….
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 03:01:47 pm by Truean »
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The kinda human wreckage that you love

Current Spare Time Fiction Project: (C) 2010 http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=63660.0
Disclaimer: I never take cases online for ethical reasons. If you require an attorney; you need to find one licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Never take anything online as legal advice, because each case is different and one size does not fit all. Wants nothing at all to do with law.

Please don't quote me.

Truean

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     "How do you KNOW it's a demon?" quizzed the goblin wearing a tiger skin over his leather armor. He hated everything and especially other goblins. The morons thought everything was a demon. That is, they thought everything they didn't want to do was a demon; work was an especially horrible demon....

   "It killed and ripped the faces off all three of us that got near it. It's not a Dwarf, 'cause Dwarves got beards and wear metal! This got no beard and its skin ain't shiny!" The answering goblin was somewhat offended and scoffed at the tigerskin wearing goblin. He wasn't stupid by any means. Besides, it's not like he had any rank over anyone else.

   "Just like all the other demons, but that's a Citadel of Wonders Sigil on that wagon! What happened to the Dwarves!" asked the tigerskin wearing goblin, his skepticism fading slightly.

   "We think it killed them. It's covered in blood and dwarf clothes are torn up 'round it."

   "Hum, well of course it killed you, you morons. Demons want offerings and you didn't give it any! You think they care to look at you without breaking your back for no payment? Morons all of you! Find me an offering, now!"

   Some time passed and a small bundle of unidentifiable meat was placed over a fire and roasted. Shortly after, the tigerskin wearing goblin approached the wagon's side, not daring to come within 30 feet of it just yet though. He let a leather wrapped bundle dangle from his right hand. It swayed slightly back and forth in the light breeze as he called out to the demon under the wagon. He thought for a moment and remembered what the priests would say if they were here. This would be his triumph and his demon calling. They would fear him even more than before!

   "Greetings and worship o infernal one. I bring you praise and tidings of dead children." He stepped closer seeing he had the attention of a pair of eyes.  "Yes we have roasted the human baby alive as your kind taught us to do long ago. It is all for you o damned one. Yes. Yes come. Claim your prize and your worship!" He smiled as it came, slowly at first, on all fours, then rushing as it stood. It seemed eager for the offering. He didn't think it was eager for him. He was wrong.

   A crimson blur rushed out from underneath the wagon and promptly dug a blade into the tiger skin wearing goblin's chest while biting his face. All the goblins surrounding him could think was how he must have angered the demon, and how his tiger skin would now have a hole in it. That last part saddened them.

   He had eaten the red ones that morning. They were better than this goblin's face, at least the part that would've had a third eye if it were a demon. His teeth held onto the goblin, knees on his chest, hands slamming into his head. His teeth held even after the goblin fell and they both slammed into the ground. Only when its deathtwitching began did he let go. He had long since lost the ability to taste. No goblin would come for the grime and filth covered demon that had slain the tiger killer. He came for them.

   He pulled his sword out through the side of the goblin's neck, leaving it hanging to the corpse by a thread. The goblins ran in every direction; he would only be able to kill some of them.... A rock sailed to a goblin's leg, severely spraining it. It got up and crawled away. He would be the last to die from this today; after he demon had taken his time to track down his prey.

   He was faster than the goblins running west and took them from behind, stabbing five of their legs as he went. They were for later. Finally one of them turned to face him. It held a broad shield and sharp spear towards him. His free hand picked up a rock.  He threw it and only hit the shield. He picked up a bigger rock.

   The goblin thrust its spear at him and managed to just barely graze his left  leg. It was his first mistake. The spear was pinned down by the sword and broken by the rock. The demon savagely slashed at the goblin only to be held back by the broad shield, which was actually dented somewhat at this point. The goblin finally managed enough room to draw his sword. He slashed at the agile little thing in front of him until finally it stabbed its own sword into his arm. It lodged between the two forearm bones. The demon pulled him forward, keeping hold of his sword as pain made the goblin release his. His knee found the goblin's face before the goblin's face found the ground.

   The sword left the arm only to cut it off.  The goblin tried in vain to roll to his back and hide under his broad shield. His legs were stabbed and he was shortly flipped onto his shield instead of under it.  From there, it was only a matter of stabs and there were lots of those. There were too many of those.

   The demon found the goblins he had maimed and finished them off quickly. Sobriety and memory were beginning to set in and he wanted neither.  He tried to fix both problems under his uncle's wagon  and think happy thoughts. He did not think happy thoughts.  Maybe he would let them take him next time. Would they try to take him next time? Had he seen too much of what he hated. After all the things they put each other through, he'd have gone on until the end. He meant it. Could he ever forget... until the end of everything. The snow fell on deserted skies in his mind

   "Coler, all we are is bolts. I mean this. Never be afraid to take your shots and make them count." The memory still stung, All we are.... All we were.... All we never will be.... He tried. He tried to let her know how much she means to him still.  The days faded and nights passed. She was cold and he'd never show her how much she means. His stare passed on through her phantom. He could never show her how much she was the only one. Like a bag of roses, there were a dozen reasons in that clip: all spent but not enough. And as she was falling down... And in that pool of blood.... And he could see her eyes.... And as he touched her hands.... Nothing lasts forever; this was too soon. There were too many damn demons.... Not enough bolts. Too much burned.

   The rum didn't work fast enough. He mumbled something, "How do you know it's a demon...?" He knew. He knew. He wished he didn't. The rum didn't work fast enough.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 07:40:10 pm by Truean »
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The kinda human wreckage that you love

Current Spare Time Fiction Project: (C) 2010 http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=63660.0
Disclaimer: I never take cases online for ethical reasons. If you require an attorney; you need to find one licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Never take anything online as legal advice, because each case is different and one size does not fit all. Wants nothing at all to do with law.

Please don't quote me.

Truean

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       They simply had to keep moving, and simply weren't moving fast enough. "Excellent job killing the hunting parties commander, but at this rate at least 60% of them will die tonight." Nera spoke as the stern accountant she was. All facts got equal inflection in her voice. "The humans simply don't know how to use the weapons we've acquired from the goblins. Also, we can't know exact numbers but if the hunting parties are any indication, we're looking at over 100 goblins in the main group following us. Further, they've stopped sending out hunting parties, which typically means they know we're here and they plan to come at us in mass." Even she paused for a moment, "With the human civilians, I calculate our present speed will not get us to either of the human settlements. The goblins will overtake us on the field, probably in the dark."

   "Then we have to improvise." Said the commander's voice sterner still. This shook her somewhat.

   "C..Coma..... Musrin, didn't you hear what I said!?"

   He turned to her simply, "You said we would never find a way out of the Citadel alive.... I'm not disputing your odds; you're almost always correct. That's not the point. I know the odds. What would you have me do in light of them? Abandon the humans? Lay down and die with them? No, we have to improvise. If those are our odds, then we have to play them as best we can and try to tip them in our favor as much as we can."

   The strange look on her face was admiration, though she would never admit it. She had hated the military in the Citadel; they were mostly unforgivable brutes and acted as such to her. She forged the armor that protected them, the weapons they used;  they could care less concerning her. Yet, here was a man who's wisdom was at least respectable. She wanted to believe him, but had no basis to do so. The numbers simply were what they were and they were bad. "I don't know how to do that or if we can...."

   "Then we figure it out. I need the information we have: rations, supplies, numbers on both sides, if these humans know anything we can use, estimated time before the goblins attack. Anything that could be of use is worth looking into if it can be looked into within the time we have. If worse comes down to worse we find a hill and keep as many of them alive as possible."

   She was officially in charge of the expedition. He had never demanded or even asked for respect. All the same she gave it in the only way she could think of, "yes sir."
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The kinda human wreckage that you love

Current Spare Time Fiction Project: (C) 2010 http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=63660.0
Disclaimer: I never take cases online for ethical reasons. If you require an attorney; you need to find one licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Never take anything online as legal advice, because each case is different and one size does not fit all. Wants nothing at all to do with law.

Please don't quote me.

Truean

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   "Clearly, we attack...." Musrin remarked as if offhandedly, staring at the surface of the Dwarven Wine in his cup. The purest silence in history greeted him in the center of the circled wagons. Some of the humans thought he might have been joking; some of the more cynical ones thought it was a trick to raise morale....  Irua closed her eyes and looked down to hide her dread; she knew he wasn't and wished to the Gods he were.

   An older human man spoke contemptuously, "if you'd like to go out in a blaze of glory, just don't bring us down with you."

   "Who's going down? We can't beat the goblins defensively without massive civilian casualties the numbers just don't add up. So we change the equation. Also, no one's ever done this before, they won't be expecting it at all."

   "And now you want us to just ... give up whatever defenses we have and charge them head on?"

   "Not exactly...."
__________________________________________________________

   The goblin sentry never screamed and he never would again. To think they had jailed him for doing something similar and now he was pivotal to saving their lives from the goblins. Damn hypocrites: It's perfectly ok to sneak up on someone and kill them, but only when we say.... He was disappointed to find nothing of value on this sentry's corpse and simply left. They had agreed to free him and retroactively erase his sentence, but he had already served most of it and he frankly didn't care if the rest of them lived or died. The battle was over for him, but he had managed to do his good deed for the decade by making sure the others weren't detected before he fled far sooner than they would've liked.... It was a strange thing: killing in broad daylight, but then again that's when most of these green scaled bastards slept.... He looked back one last time as he left and thought they'd all be dead with or without him and it would be better without him dead too....

   Elsewhere, Coler was possibly sick of drowning himself in misery or maybe he just got sick of hoping the deadweight of his finger on his crossbow would end his sorrows in some somber sleep. He couldn't quite let himself form the thoughts fully in his mind, but he knew it was true.  No one told him to do anything as part of this big plan and he was furious at that fact. He still had uses beyond draining the rum stocks and had even  listened to most of what Musrin said. He had put on his best armor and come completely alone after drenching his insides in rum for perhaps the last time. He hadn't quite had enough to drink, but didn't really care at this point.

   He actually liked Musrin, perhaps even respected him as much as he was capable of that thought at the moment, but he was convinced the planned distraction just wasn't big enough. He would fix that. He would fix that a lot. He just smiled as he walked alone, directly up to the southern goblin camp entrance and he waved  happily. Here was a single, heavily armed dwarf nicely walking up to a camp of dozens if not a hundred goblins and no one knew quite what to make of it.

   The goblin guards just looked at each other and back at him for a while; he causally walked their way. Then finally, most would say out of astonishment, they called out to this strange dwarf and asked what his business was here. The steel clad figure just smiled softly and waved as he walked casually towards them, as if strolling in a park. His weapons were still stowed and sheathed. A small goblin gathering had grown to see if the grumblings could actually be true.
   There were perhaps two (2) dozen goblins standing at their camp's southern edge just watching the lone dwarf stroll towards them casually, cordially even. About six of them aimed bows at him as he got within 20 feet. The dwarf stopped, seemed shocked, and chuckled heartily to say something. None of them could hear what he was saying but the dwarf sure seemed happy to be saying it and he calmly let his waving hand fall to his side. Strangely, the dwarf's mouth seemed to be moving as though he were speaking normally, but the sound simply didn't come loud enough that they could hear. They asked and demanded that he speak louder, each time he spoke exactly as before and none of them could understand him, they all leaned slightly closer each time. Finally curiosity got the better of one of them, who strode out to the strangely happy little dwarf, "What have you come to say? Speak louder." Again there were muffled words and a smile from the bearded dwarf.

   The goblin came within arm's reach of the Dwarf, and the dwarf's arm thrust a knifepoint straight into the gap in his armor plates and the gap where a heart should be.... The goblin crowd looked on in shock wondering why in the hell the dwarf would go through all that for this. Coler pulled the curious little goblin's ear to his cheek and positively screamed what he had been smiling and whispering before, "I WANNA SEE WHAT YOUR INSIDES LOOK LIKE! ARE YOU AS UGLY ON THE INSIDE?! I BET YOU'RE NOT GODS DAMN PRETTY ON THE INSIDE! I'M GONNA SEE WHAT YOUR INSIDES LOOK LIKE!" He then charged forward, using the corpse as a large shield.

   The goblin archers shot out of fear and their arrows simply sunk into the corpse Coler held in front of him as he charged. Astonished or not, the 23 goblins drew their weapons or found more arrows to aim. Carrying the corpse with one arm, Coler slung his first cross bow from his back in a wide arc over his head and onto the head of the first goblin. He then bent his elbow drawing his arm and the cross bow to him only to ram it into the face of another swordgoblin before pulling the trigger. He then threw the corpse at three of the frontmost goblins charging him. It slowed them just enough to let Coler grab another goblin hostage by her newly closed throat, but at the cost of her luckily slicing Coler in the left arm. She was his new shield and the second volley of arrows stuck out from her back. The dwarf had survived eyes in the darkness only to wish he hadn't; this was nothing.....

   Still another goblin managed to land a speartip near Coler's right shoulder--far less deep than the goblin would've liked. Realizing he couldn't afford to have his hostage arm injured further, the Dwarf threw his first crossbow at the speargoblin, who now lay clutching the pool of crimson over his nose.
Coler made a point of stomping his steel high boot into the goblin's nose and the skull beneath it as he stepped still further forward.  Two of the archers ran, presumably to get reinforcements.

   The remaining archers tried to circle around the Dwarf, who threw his knife at the second closest goblin's chest; the blade sunk far too deep.... Coler threw the second corpse into the goblins again who were slowly learning that spreading out and surrounding him was a better tactic., but not before another speargoblin tried to impale the Dwarf. Coler grabbed the spear shaft with both hands and pulled its wielder's face into his elbow. This gave him a new spear, which he promptly threw into an archer's chest. He then rushed another one of the goblins, who were beginning to surround him and crushed his skull while drawing his last crossbow with the exact same wide, overhead arc he had used once before. They didn't learn quickly; and that goblin would never learn anything ever again....

   Coler felt two stings in his side; the archers had hit him; he screamed and pivoted to shoot a bolt into one of their faces. He used the circular motion to ram the butt of his crossbow into another goblin, but the wound was unfortunately superficial.  Searing pain came from where the arrows stung as some goblin hands twisted them into his flesh, while others grabbed anything they could to hold him down. There were at least 16 hands on him and probably more.  One thing was certain, he was biting one of the hands and it would've tasted terrible if Coler could taste anything....

   The dwarf felt his teeth breaking goblin fingers and goblin weapons trying to break through his steel plate and the leather armor under that. Thankfully, most of them didn't. Coler rolled catching the grappling mob off balance and letting him stab a sword into one of their necks. Their fumbling hands tried to undo his armor clasps, or maybe they were just attempting to hang on. He bent himself forward and bit another goblin's cheek, shaking his head vigorously and tearing away the flesh. A sharp pain in his side let him know where a spot in his armor had been opened and he rolled faster

   A guttural voice shouted, "Hold him still and we'll shoot him again!" This was simply not in Coler's plan and thus it wasn't going to happen if he could help it. He could help it and did so by finally freeing an arm and drawing a his sword to slice open a goblin's stomach. That one was not gods damn pretty on the inside, but there were still six (6) more holding him. Another sting greeted the dwarf from his side and he kneed a goblin as his response, which was equal parts rage and annoyance.

   The unfortunate former green scaled goblin holding his left leg was now firmly under Coler's armored steel boot being repeatedly stomped as a differently but equally dead goblin found a dwarf sword on, or rather in his mind.  The next two arrows grazed off his armor as he grabbed still another goblin by the throat and began to crush his throat. The result was a sickening and desperate sound of trying and failing to breathe. Inspired by the idea and frustrated at the unfruitful results of repeated attempted stabbings, the goblins then decided to try and choke the Dwarf. This was a mistake many had made before and none had lived to tell about....

   The dwarf simply stabbed the goblin on his back in the face, which he now knew exactly where to find due to the goblin straddling his shoulders from behind while trying to close off his windpipe. Both of the remaining archer's arrows harmlessly lodged in the Dwarf's armor. Seeing this the archers ran and the remaining goblins wrestling the Dwarf were soon dead.

   Coler slowly stood and groaned in annoyance and pain at the 2 arrows sticking out of his armor and the 4 other arrows sticking through to him, even if only slightly. He looked around at the goblin encampment in disarray. He was somehow, regrettably still alive, and slowly becoming sober with arrowheads poking him. This might help Musrin's distraction but it surprisingly didn't give Coler the way to reunite with her that he was halfheartedly hoping for, or at least indifferent to at this point.

   The Dwarf slowly realized that if he died this way it would be a slow and painful death, which was the last thing he wanted. He tended to sleep with his crossbow pointed under his chin leaving the deadweight of his finger on the trigger. That way it would be instant and less painful than a long drawn out death. He reluctantly slung his shield around in front of him from its place on his back. He mumbled something about thinking he'd be gone by now, and saw a group of a dozen or so armored goblins carrying maces marching towards him. He picked up one of his crossbows and reloaded it....
________________________________________________________________

   Musrin was at the same time pleasantly surprised and somewhat worried that there weren't more goblins in the western end of the camp. Nera's numbers were nearly always right and that meant the other might be somewhere he prayed they weren't....
« Last Edit: July 03, 2011, 02:21:36 am by Truean »
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The kinda human wreckage that you love

Current Spare Time Fiction Project: (C) 2010 http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=63660.0
Disclaimer: I never take cases online for ethical reasons. If you require an attorney; you need to find one licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Never take anything online as legal advice, because each case is different and one size does not fit all. Wants nothing at all to do with law.

Please don't quote me.

Truean

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   "I know you know what to do...." Musrin said it calmly and she accepted the order without hesitation. The simple nod conveyed it was understood between them. "One step forward, two steps back...." This was the step forward; the steps backwards would follow. A far too wide shield wall slowly marched toward the extremely panicked goblin palisade wall. It seemed an army had come and this was exactly what Musrin wanted to seem to be. Only, of course, they didn't have an army.... The shields were held up two to a human, who had never held a shield before. In the center of them all was Irua.
________________________________

   All of the room's goblins seemed annoyed but none moreso than the one wearing a lion's pelt. He hated them all for their incompetence, for their laziness, for the hell of it.... He also hated the racket they were creating. There had never been a reason to sound the alarms and thus he had never heard them.... Of course it would be in the middle of the day when sane goblins were trying to sleep....

   "The Dwarves come to kill us!" screamed a frantic young goblin sentry as he ran through the street and into the sleeping hall. He also ran right into the outstretched arm of an upset goblin wearing a lion's hide.

   He looked down at the pest he had just clotheslined with slightly more irritation than usual, "There are no Dwarves for a hundred leagues here. You woke me up for this?" He took solace in the youth rubbing  his now bruised throat.

   "The... They're her... They're here.... " he managed to croak staring up at his annoyed attacker.

   "Don't be ugly AND stupid. I just told you there aren't any for a hundred leagues."

   Tears welled up in the young goblin's eyes as he strove for breath that came but barely and belabored. He just pointed frantically to the west end of camp.  Reluctantly and in search of another justification to beat the youth further, the lion skin clad goblin shuffled into the gods damned moon forsaken field. He rubbed his eyes as he thought of pointing a spear into that brat the next time he pointed a finger anywhere.  The nerve of some goblins, being puny and pissing him off....

   Except what to his surprise did he see but far too many frantic goblins for this to be nothing. He ran west. Somehow what had to be 100 or so dwarves marching abreast in a line behind broad tall shields slowly marched towards them. The realization came that they might actually not have enough troops to deal with this many and he wasn't going to be one of the ones who died  this day. He joined the others and strapped on his heaviest steel armors, no need to worry about mobility with stubby dwarves fighting in formation. There was a lot to worry about from that but mobility wasn't on the list.... He looked on the damn dwarves, so arrogant they practically announced themselves and weren't even trying to hide.
________________________

   She had pretended to be weak before to snare her foes; now they pretended to be strong.... It was her constant and repeated dwarven call of "foot" that told them all when to step. It had to be convincing. it had to be flawless with nothing but flaws to forge this fraud from. They couldn't be blamed, each holding two broad shields, they had somehow kept their timing perfect, and their fear was well hidden. They wore practically nothing, just light clothes and were ready to drop their shields and this charade on command to run for their lives. She only hoped the goblins would strap on every piece of their bastardized steel to weigh them down.  She hoped they took their time doing it, all the time they cared to take and that they cared to take lots of time.

   She trusted Musrin implicitly, unqualifiedly, unendingly, more than he had ever asked to be and more than she would ever admit. She had heard the rumors of how the Citadel Commander had ordered her left behind to die, because she was only one lieutenant among many. It seemed Musrin found this most unsatisfactory and the Commander found Musrin's helmet lodged in his skull. She remembered being bloodied but unbowed, spent fighting ... them... off. It wasn't immediately clear exactly how he had gotten her out, except here she still stood.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 06:04:22 pm by Truean »
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The kinda human wreckage that you love

Current Spare Time Fiction Project: (C) 2010 http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=63660.0
Disclaimer: I never take cases online for ethical reasons. If you require an attorney; you need to find one licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Never take anything online as legal advice, because each case is different and one size does not fit all. Wants nothing at all to do with law.

Please don't quote me.

Conan

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God you just keep writing. Good job though.

Truean

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   All six of them stared petrified at the newly fallen crate, that racket would be just the thing to give them away if curiosity and attentiveness drew a goblin to the sound. Worse yet, this was one of the few structures in the whole damn camp that wasn't a tent so of course it reverberated. Thankfully it sent the worgs into a howling yelp fit which meant both that the goblins would ignore the sound and that they were in the right place.

   Unfortunately, they could smell they were in the right place. Worgs were foul, oversized, and overconfident wolves, and they smelled as such. An entire pack of them all reluctantly under one roof left no question of this. The worg nature for savagery was not helped by the goblin nature for cruelty. Each beast was forced into a cell it could barely turn about in and only with great effort and each was covered in scars from its owners. If they were capable of hate, the worgs hated many things, including and especially the goblins who forcibly rode them and took this right by violence as a rule.

   Long baleful howls and growls greeted them as they entered the worg hall. There had to be 40 of the things here. Strange saddles hung from the rafters by ropes near each pen; they were the only thing kept meticulously in the entire building.  Naturally, these saddles would be destroyed or disabled first, as it was next to impossible to ride a worg without one.  The plan was to kill all the worgs, but no one realized there were so many and there wasn't time.  Also, no one had gotten close enough to a worg to see the numerous scars inflicted by its rider and live, so a new thought occurred. There was all that rope laying around or being used to hang saddles and gate hitches that could be pulled with rope from afar.... They didn't have to control the worgs; they just had to unleash them while being in a place the worgs couldn't get to.... At least that was the new plan and exactly what the 6 humans did.

   Confused but not complaining, the worgs immediately took their new found freedom right into the middle of the goblin encampment. The worgs immediately took their old fangs right into the middle of the goblins they found. They moved as one large pack and caused a lot of goblin screaming in one direction. Unfortunately this meant the other directions around the worg hall did not have a rabid pack of worgs preventing goblins from entering. Goblins entered, and outnumbered the mere 6 humans.

   The goblin bowmen had better cover, training , and numbers than the now trapped 6 humans, and they knew it. Simply, they were pinned down and ducking behind whatever they could as goblin arrows rained sideways around them. Occasionally that rain would let up enough to fire a crossbow bolt or three back with a shaking hand. These bolts had no chance of hitting anything, but it kept the goblins from charging and overrunning the handful of humans.

   In the middle of this shootout, the goblins taunted their prey and would say, "come out and just die...." Even this was a lie, they wouldn't have let the humans die this day, that would be far too merciful. The tasks they would do to them would make them want to pray for death. Their lives wouldn't end and they would never be the same.... Now this was fate's cruelty and each slowly came to the idea that nothing could save them and they were lost They were just human as gods had made them. This was certainly not their dying wish.... They were out of luck and out of time--too much, too late or just not enough of it.

   Coler had seen an entire pack of wolves running towards newly screaming goblins. He thought the wooden building they ran out of would be unguarded and their keepers would be chasing after them. The lovely thing about wood is that it burns and a whole unguarded building made of wood would burn nicely. Coler knew this would be an even bigger distraction than Musrin was looking for but not bigger than he hoped for. Also, he would get to set goblin building on fire.... There was no way that could be bad for him....

   Now inside, Coler turned, snapping towards the direction of the shouts and sounds of bows firing at something that wasn't him. This brought his view to the pulley system of ropes attached to the gate of each pen and leading to where the goblins were firing. It was a simple matter for him to figure out these were the humans and they were pinned down. Coler came with his shield raised high straight at the goblins to kill them. Well the humans couldn't; well he could. Their arrows would never get him through his shield, and he ran to them like a bolt through a flock of doves.

   He plowed directly into the first goblin and right over and onto his prone body. That left about thirteen of them. Twelve after the first sword stroke, and eleven after the second. The smarter ones ran and the dumber ones stayed. The first of which found a shield rim embedded in his ribs, the second found his bow cut in half followed by stomach. The third , tried to get behind the dwarf, and tasted an armored elbow, felt a swordtip in his hip, and that same tip in his throat. It hurt; he screamed, then died. The final two actually climbed up into the rafters and their arrows were harmlessly but annoyingly sticking out of Coler's armor. He shot them with his crossbow and they fell with a satisfying thud.

   The humans were just looking at the bloody thing in front of them, completely dumbfounded. Its left cheek was slashed open and the blood didn't seem to bother it too terribly much as it clotted in a very, very short beard. About ten arrows were sticking out from its armor and countless others were on the front of its shield. It's squinting eyes and scrunched face looked at them for a moment before catching its breath and saying, "I'm setting this place on fire." He then turned around in a huff and started towards a pile of ropes.

   He missed his fireplace in the citadel. He missed a lot of things from it. Most people had a fireplace and many of the fireplaces shared great branching chimneys going all the way up to the surface and down into cavern farms. Every summer, they would close the fireplace gates and flush all the ashes out with a torrent of water redirected from the river. With gravity and nowhere else to go, it would splash down the full length of the great chimney onto the cavern farms and the washed ash made the crops grow better. He had lit a great many fires through the years and he lit a great many fires here. This was no different except it kindled the memories in him. He missed a lot of things from the citadel....

   Anything that could be burned, was burned. He had long sense lost count of how many of the eyes there had been or how many dwarves they had killed. It was a number his mind could reach but couldn't bear to. He was losing the war waged against his faith in himself just as the citadel was losing the war waged against it from within itself. There was no end to them. There was entirely no damn end to them. He remembered, and he didn't want to remember. He had crawled up a great chimney to escape the lowest levels, while trying to take as many dwarves with him as possible, except it was blocked by a grate put their to prevent anything from climbing up it. He was a thing climbing up it. They had to go back down it into ... that.... Life was just a dream for the dead. They all woke up.... They all woke up but he was still asleep....

   He stood dazed. He was just a dwarf as the gods had made him and he stood petrified and panting with the torch in his hand over the last fire to be set in the flaming worg hall. Too much had burned. Well, the Dwarf couldn't; well the humans could. They did. They lit the last fire and led the dwarf out.

Anything that could be burned, was burned....  Life was just a dream for the dead. They all woke up but he was still asleep.... They all woke up.... They all woke up.... Part of him wanted to....
« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 03:54:00 pm by Truean »
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The kinda human wreckage that you love

Current Spare Time Fiction Project: (C) 2010 http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=63660.0
Disclaimer: I never take cases online for ethical reasons. If you require an attorney; you need to find one licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Never take anything online as legal advice, because each case is different and one size does not fit all. Wants nothing at all to do with law.

Please don't quote me.

RabidAnubis

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Oh my god.....
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Dwarf Fortress: Your game is working on giving NPC's lives. Our game is working on giving them a working nervous system.
Aahhh I can't find the fish cakes in the bunny level, they keep getting enraged and I don't have any holy hand grenades
The Age of Myth: Goldenhold

Truean

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   "I can explain!" Pleaded the goblin as he screamed from the sword in his shoulder.
   "No, I prefer this...." responded an armored goblin with an eye patch. He twisted the sword in the wound. There was no warning the dwarves were coming from the scouts and what good were scouts if they couldn't spot 100 dwarves slowly marching in formation. Everyone else sure seemed to notice, but somehow not a single one of the scouts. This incompetence would cost quite a bit and the scoutmaster would pay quite a bit.... The scoutmaster died on that sword, slowly.

   He would really miss his bone throne with all the skulls--such vivid mementos of their former owners and how he killed them. He would especially miss the dwarf skull at the throne's crest, the one with both eye sockets smashed in with a hammer. It was only fair that the bastard who took his eye would agonizingly loose both eyes by his own hand. Unfortunately, it was exceptionally well attached or else he'd take it back to the home warrens with him, at least that skull if not others.... He hated sentimentality, except towards his own trophies, just like every other goblin....

   And it fell to him to get any damn thing done as usual....  He was the better of all the other goblins anyhow and that was why they followed his orders. That and the fact that they had an aversion to dying. However, he had had quite enough of the rest of the throwbacks stinking up the places around him. He was leaving and to hell with the rest of them. Good riddance to bad rabble. He knew what they would do before they did it, probably because his brain was larger than a flea's and especially because theirs weren't. He gathered all the trolls and halfway competent (he had no illusions about finding other competent goblins) warriors around him to head back east to the home warrens on yakback. As for the rest of them, every second a dwarf spent breaking them was a second they weren't breaking him. He had already lost one eye that way and damned if he would lose another.

   He could recall, in fact, a time in his life when things were not spiraling out of control. This was not it. Also, this mess was not his idea; he had told them straying far from the warrens to hunt humans in the open was a bad idea. There was a reason why they only did it rarely.... There were plenty of elves chained up back home for everyone but some goblins are just never satisfied. What part of "the rest of them" did he give a damn about anyhow.... His mind noted the mental lack of a question mark. There were plenty of females back home to repopulate with and with the morons dead, hopefully the next generation wouldn't be quite so stupid. Natural selection, extinction of the dumbest, etc. Most importantly, he wouldn't have to listen to their whining, which was capable of powering every grindstone in the world.....

   While that long line of dwarves worried him, it was nice to know specifically what had killed the hunting parties and that it was something that couldn't catch him easily. Although, between being on yakback and surrounded by trolls and most of the decent warriors, he wasn't terribly worried about dwarves catching him even if they could. They made a great show of "charging" to the east "to kill the main force of dwarves!" They knew full well there were no dwarves to the east and that was the entire point.  It served its purpose well though: to make the other goblins think they had the easier task of facing the "smaller" dwarven forces to the west or south. If that didn't stall the dwarves, he had other distractions planned....

   In the west, an uneasy line of goblins had formed at the palisade wall. They wore black steel armors and the dwarves appeared to outnumber them as their column slowly marched one step closer at a time. At first, the goblins showed the first sign of what could easily be mistaken for commonsense but was actually cowardice by not wanting to step away from their palisade to face the dwarves. This was a common problem for goblin armies with a common solution, a whip. This tried and true motivator was employed here and drove the reluctant horde slowly forward to meet the dwarven line.

   The goblins would never meet that dwarven line that day for two reasons. First, there was no dwarven line and the moment  Irua gave the order, the humans all dropped their shields and their charade to run. They easily outpaced their over armored and overburdened goblin pursuers. Second, the humans did have a lot of horses and they would use them here, as cavalry.... Hoof beats fell on the field and soon fell onto the goblins, who had fallen for the trap to lure them into the open. All the steel armor in the world won't help against a herd of 2000 lb horses trampling you or the human riders' spears skewering you. The goblins were too weighed down to run and had few spears. Additionally, Musrin bid the riders come at the line in an angle so they would mow down only a small portion of the goblins, but not risk losing momentum trying to take the entire line at once from the side. The riders only got and only needed one pass before the goblin lines broke and scattered. Though they rode over some of the fleeing goblins anyhow, probably just for well deserved spite to be honest.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2011, 04:38:02 pm by Truean »
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The kinda human wreckage that you love

Current Spare Time Fiction Project: (C) 2010 http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=63660.0
Disclaimer: I never take cases online for ethical reasons. If you require an attorney; you need to find one licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Never take anything online as legal advice, because each case is different and one size does not fit all. Wants nothing at all to do with law.

Please don't quote me.

Truean

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   Coler was dealing with it better than he had before, now he was just overly drunk the overwhelming majority of the day. Somehow he had survived, though he wasn't entirely sure how. He remembered setting a building on fire but never leaving it. Drained rum jugs blanketed his solitary form under his uncle's wagon.  He was still speaking to her phantom and her memory had him saying he wasn't alone though he knew she was gone and he was.

   "Hello Angel, tell me where are you. Tell me where we go from here. Tell... me ... we... go... from...." In that moment he closed the lids on the memory of burning eyes. His memories were coated with ashes of friends he'd known. They reached from inside, ripping flesh apart, as ice cold eyes stared into the heart. That's if you still had one left, inside that cave called a chest. And after seeing what he saw, could he still reclaim his innocence,  "We marched ourselves single file  right down to Hell...."

   Rum flowed over his shoulder wound and the memory of that broken city sky burned on his skin. "Would you take me down or would you let me out?" He sat there for some time, "And if the world needs something better, we give them one more reason?" He passed out; only to wake up as everyone else lay sleeping.

   This was how he slept--fitfully in short stretches with the crossbow to his chin. He would never forget her and he wasn't sure he wanted her to try.... He never got the feeling he was quite alone and he remembered-- screaming at the top of his lungs, in his arms, she died. She died. What did the end of the world or the last thing he'd see mater. She died and was never coming home. His finger lay on the trigger still. Could he; should he?

   He saw all the smiles she would never give, heard all the things she would never tell him. They all haunted him as her phantom did. He closed his eyes, thinking he pulled the trigger flinching, and apologizing. Except his finger slipped and he didn't. He opened his eyes and she was there holding his hand and saying, "You go on, for all the ghosts you don't have to catch and who can't catch you if you fall, through all the wounds that will ever stop you, for all the ones you save, and yes for me." She kissed him and her visage shattered with a smile and him staring for some time. He would live....
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The kinda human wreckage that you love

Current Spare Time Fiction Project: (C) 2010 http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=63660.0
Disclaimer: I never take cases online for ethical reasons. If you require an attorney; you need to find one licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Never take anything online as legal advice, because each case is different and one size does not fit all. Wants nothing at all to do with law.

Please don't quote me.
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