Report on the combustibility of Stables, or, A Hale Family Christmas.

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Report on the combustibility of Stables, or, A Hale Family Christmas.

Post  Osvald Hale on Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:26 am

What began as a simple flavour post has become so, so much more...

I give you: Chapter 1 - The curious incident of the Orc in the night time.




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Two towers stood like the twin iron hafts of ancient gargantuan spears, thrust deep into the the heart of the mountains. It pained Osvald to look upon them. As dusk grew heavy, A crimson flare of the days last light caught the towers' edges like blood on a blade.

The rangers brow furrowed.

In the depression below, a great camp was laid. Tents beyond reckoning stretched from each boundary of the horizon. As the first silver sliver of moon crested the peaks, so did the constellations of lanterns in the sea of tents alight... Though in the reading of those earthen stars Osvald knew he would find only death.

Olufsen senses his nephews unease, and clasps a massive gloved hand over his shoulder. Osvald meets his gaze, and the last sons of Hale come to a wordless understanding. Though they were rangers in title, in belief they were the last soldiers of a dying ideal;

"Protect the small-folk, serve none but your own honor. Through truth only can th--"The words of Osvalds father rattled on in his head. He'd fled the Small Teeth to escape their burden years ago, yet, now--Those same ideals which seemed as but an inconvenient dream in the blood soaked reaches of his past were now all the more inescapable for their desperate need to be forged into reality. By force of will and action.

And thus, the sons of the mountains met each others gaze and knew their path. The camp ahead was all but unassailable. Guile and heart alone were not enough to achieve the parties' goal. Too much was at stake to risk capture--and even if by some miracle of guile, their goal was accomplished and the towers surmounted, how in the hell would they--his friends--all escape with their lives?

What they needed was one hell of a distraction.

...and just a few warriors' idiot enough to do it. Aaand, well... The slightest of grins crosses Osvalds face, and he gives a subtle nod to his uncle.

Olufsen coughs, knocking three times on the inside of the wagon to slow it to a halt.

The sons of Hale exit briskly, slinging bows across their backs and moving swiftly to the front. Addressing the group, Olufsen speaks:

“Friends, it would behoove us to travel in smaller groups. There are already eight of us. Osvald and I will depart, and will infiltrate the stables... As soon as the moon has risen fully above the mountain’s teeth, we’ll loose the distraction. Hard to say what kind of impact you can expect, but we’re not above burning the whole thing to the ground to buy you some time.”


He coughs into his arm, pulling his cloak up over his head.

“Death follows us all, fellows. If we do not see you again, then it has been good serving the gods of light alongside you. Osvald and I will make for the tower as soon as the calamity begins. If we can, we’ll slay Keisan and recover the compass. I hope that we shall meet in that dark place.”

He turns around, disappearing down the trailside into a copse of trees. Osvald lingers for a moment, looking sullen.

“Luck be with you, fellows.” he says quietly. And then follows after his uncle, thinking to himself as he fades into the wild: 'See you the other side.'

...

Cutting their way through the rough wilderness of the sloping valley sides was easy work for the two mountain men, pacing forward and keeping watch in turn.

After a quarter hours descent, Olufsen spoke up. "...Osvald... let's do our best to not make this mission a suicide mission, shall we?"

"Hush, Uncle, The greenskins'll hear us. ...Besides, You'll die of old age before we reach the stables as it is."

A broad familial grin wracks across Olufsens scarred face for the first time in years, and the great bear of a man nods playfully with his kin:

"When I meet your father in the mountain-gods halls, I'll let him know what a real bastard his son has become--the little runt'll be proud."

Quickly, they fell into the familiar rhythms of their families teachings. Though, as they descended toward the smells of grease-fire and orc, the path became increasingly treacherous. Swathes of land lay clear-cut to feed the fires of Kiesans' forces, forcing the rangers to backtrack, or crawl on their bellies through the ragged underbrush. Thrice, they caught the acrid scent of Wargs and orcish harness leather on the wind, diving just in time into ditches and behind rotting stumps as the beasts stalked past within paces, snorting their wolffish disapproval at the prodding of their patrolling greenskined riders.

Picking their way along a granite stone ridge, the rangers came to a cleft in the mountain side, a natural spring welling up into what was surely once a beautiful glen--now a rotting mire. The smell of refuse and old meat mingled with human and orc waste, turning the waters sickly black, and great reams of foul fungus crept up the springs littered banks. A small guard was posted nearby, two thick muscled orcs and a human sell sword bullied a frail looking greenskin spearman to go and fetch some more grog in rough common tongue from the camp a few hundred yards below.

Meagre calls of protest wafted up from the spearman as the rangers crept like shadows down the ridge. Through hand sign they communicated now, Osvald following his uncles lead.

The spearman relented, spurting unconvincing protests as he stomped down the zagging mountain trail, oversized chain mail clanking with each huffing step. This amused the remaining trio and they let out a great guffaw of laughter, draining the last dregs of the rancid orc grog they had.

All the while, Olufsen and his nephew drew closer...

The Hales crept towards to guards along a narrow culvert. The sun had now vanished entirely, and the guards argued amongst themselves as to who best light a fire.

"You shut your gob, Rutgut, I ain't having none of your shit tonight. The little worms gone down the hill but the don't mean y'can pick on me just cause I'm the prettiest." The human sell swords voice rang out in the mounting shadow, bringing a chuckle from the smaller of the two orcs.

"Pret'e'ist? Who you try'na kid, you pink-belly? Your face'll look reaaaal nice stretch'd a'cross my shield you hummie bastard, now light th'a damn fire... Before Grol has your guts for garters." says the largest orc whilst the other still chuckles.

"You know," began the sell sword, fumbling around in his belt pouch to produce flint and steel. "I'm only here to get paid, not to put up with the stink of your breath. A shower of sparks chips forth as the sell sword kneels over a greasy firepit. "...But between your rotten teeth, and the stink of this fuckin' mire, gold is sort of losing its glimmer, you understand me?"

A second glut of sparks shimmer forth illuminating the sellswords face for a final fleeting moment of life as an arrow suddenly hammers into his neck; a spray of blood landing wetly on the gathered tinders. As he falls, a second arrow impales the throat of the chuckler. Only it's black-feathered fletching halts it from passing cleanly through the orcs neck, dropping the chuckler dead instantly.

Gasping, the surviving big orc tries to rise from his log, stumbling as an arrow catches him in the thigh. Before the pain even registers he turns to run, but another shaft buries itself to the quillions in the small of his back. Before he can even begin to weep, Rutgut the orc feels himself dragged back by the leg, the arrow point in his thigh digging even deeper. Crying out, a massive gloved hand clamps over his mouth--squeezing the sound to silence.

Over him stand two shadowed figures. Men, in armor and cloak. The larger slowly releases Rutguts face, whilst the smaller places a finger over his own mouth, signalling silence. That was obvious enough.  ...before dragging a finger across his throat, signalling... Well... Rutgut knew that one too.

Wincing against the pain now bubbling up from his leg, the Orc whispers harshly:

"Wot in all the blazes of all the hells are you doi--"

Stars explode into Rutguts view as a booted foot slams into his face, breaking one of his diminutive tusks. Spitting blood, the Orc again turns his head to glare up at the men before him. The smaller kneels down to his level and speaks, in perfect orcish:

"Osvald Hale, pleasure to meet you. This is my uncle Olufsen. Say Hello Olufsen."

"Hello." said the larger shadow.

"Now, Rutgut... Let's talk stables."

It was hard to say, in the failing light, through his tears... but Rugut swore he could see a grin widening on the face of Osvald Hale.



=====



...To be continued
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Re: Report on the combustibility of Stables, or, A Hale Family Christmas.

Post  Ao on Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:43 pm

SO GOOD! Fuck man, you should be the dungeonmaster.

Post more!!

Ao
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