CriticalFumble.net Forums  

Go Back   CriticalFumble.net Forums > Play-by-Post Games > Bastards & Broadswords

Bastards & Broadswords Origen's D&D 5E campaign.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 12-04-2013, 08:48 AM
Mouser's Avatar
Mouser Mouser is offline
Manly and Impulsive!
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Barging into your shuttle...
Posts: 21,487
Mouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Selsdrin made his way through the Underdark in comfort and safety. His footfalls could not be perceived by even the keenest hearing. He climbed walls and across ceilings without effort. When he swam, his armor assured he did not even become damp.

He move without need of rest toward the surface. He rested anyway, to preserve his strength. He always awoke refreshed and ready.

Not far from the surface, he came upon a tribe of orcs. They were celebrating one of their disgusting feast days. They had many, and it was difficult to tell which one since they celebrated the same way every time. They ate and drank and raped the females among them.

If they had no food, they reversed the order.

He waited for them to finish their rituals and stepped in among them. He kicked the largest awake and began to beat him bloody with lobstered gauntlets of adamantine. Once he had their attention, he told them of their new leadership.

"I shall take you to the surface and you shall all serve me. Under my lordship, you shall have weapons of good steel, plenty of good food, and human wenches. Put your weapons where I tell you, and you shall have all you have ever dreamed. Offend me and die."

He paused a moment to let that sink in. They stared at him with slathering jaws and dull expressions. Some looked from one to the other and nodded in some sort of agreement.

The largest, still bruised and bloodied, spoke. "Aye. We will serve you so long as you remain strong, but weaken, Drow, and we will pick our teeth with your bones like any other surface elf."

For his insolence, Seldrin kicked him so hard he flew into the far wall of the cavern. "Done!"

Selsdrin hung his hammock among them to show he did not fear their knives or their teeth. They did not even attempt to disturb him or his pack. They were properly cowed, as he knew they would be.

"Orcs were all the same," he thought, as he drifted off. "I wonder what name this group gives itself."
__________________
"Great Marine commanders, like all great warriors, are able to kill that which they love most - their men."
-Cpt. Nathaniel Fick, USMC (ret.)

"Jerusalem is not a settlement."
-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

"Give a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day, but set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
-Terry Pratchett
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-08-2013, 08:49 AM
Mouser's Avatar
Mouser Mouser is offline
Manly and Impulsive!
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Barging into your shuttle...
Posts: 21,487
Mouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Once Selsdrin Everhar achieved dominance over the orcs, he knew he had a limited time before they tried to kill him. It was their way. Cowards as individuals, but brave as a group. They had little ability to plan, but if they were allowed to get angry or agitated, they would rip him to pieces without much thought.

He led them to the caves that opened to the surface. These caves were darker than the caves of the Underdark. Those caves had lichen that gave off a soft glow and a magic that one could feel. Up above, he knew, it was cold, and water might come from the "sky," a kind of very high ceiling made of air.

He coaxed his new followers out into the darkness of the forest, but it wasn't totally dark, like the caves. There were lichen glowing high up in the air above. Some of them seemed to wink and sparkle.

He heard a sound behind him and spun. His newly unseated rival was pulling a younger orc back. He said something in Orcish that sounded like "Not yet. Wait."

Selsdrin Everhar smiled to himself. "No." He said in his best Orcish. "If you have something to say, say it."

But it was too late. The young one faded back into the pack, and the females began setting up camp.

Selsdrin climbed high into a tree and strung his hammock, placing a rope above it with a canopy of fine waterproof black spider silk that he set up in case there was a "blizzard." Frozen water falling from the ceiling could not be prevented, but it could be overcome through proper forethought.

He looked down on the steadily developing village. They appeared to be readying for a feast. He smiled in the dark at their confidence in his hunting skills. The firepit the females were building with stones, and the spit they were making from a small sapling made it appear as if they'd done this sort of thing before.

As he drifted off in his hammock, Selsdrin congratulated himself for his excellent judgement. The soft wind rocked him to sleep in his comfortable plate armor. As high in the trees as he was, he did not forget that they were armed with bows and spears.
__________________
"Great Marine commanders, like all great warriors, are able to kill that which they love most - their men."
-Cpt. Nathaniel Fick, USMC (ret.)

"Jerusalem is not a settlement."
-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

"Give a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day, but set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
-Terry Pratchett
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-19-2013, 08:23 AM
Mouser's Avatar
Mouser Mouser is offline
Manly and Impulsive!
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Barging into your shuttle...
Posts: 21,487
Mouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond repute
Default

He woke to the rising sound of wind whistling outside his helmet just before the hard packed dirt of the forest floor rushed up and slammed into his back, knocking the wind from him. He was momentarily thankful for the rapidly fading armor that protected him from further damage just before it popped out of existence with a sound like a boil being lanced.

The remains of his canopy and hammock waved above him like ancient cobwebs in an abandoned basement, but burned away as he watched. The forest canopy swayed with the wind and revealed the sun's chariot blinding him and weakening him further.

The multiple nets that orcs threw over his now naked body did nothing to assuage the pain caused by the burning orb. He blocked out the burning pain and cold as useless information from worthless and impotent flesh. Multiple nets told him all he needed to know. As naked and disarmed as he may be, they were still afraid of him. With good reason.

They dragged him, sightless and fettered, towards the center of the camp. His eyes slowly adjusted until he could just make out a wooden throne before him. Seated atop hastily hewn logs was the orc chief he had recently beaten bloody. Set behind him was a large wooden shield liberally decorated with shrunken arrow-shaped pieces of flesh.

It laughed at him. And it pointed. The widening eyes around Selsdrin betrayed the horror they felt at the chief's intention to add his ears to the clan's collection. The orc chief stood and approached him, a small sharp knife in hand.

It shouted and gestured.

The clan stood, unmoving, as a group.

The shouts grew louder, punctuated by slaps and kicks. The nets were removed, one by one. Each time, the females removing it paused. Each time, the chief had to order the next net removed.

When the last net freed him, Selsdrin Everhar stood, unflinching. The raised and symmetrical scars on his back and upper shoulders made manifest his consecration.

The orc chief reached for Selsdrin's left ear, and Selsdrin slapped the hand away. "This is your last chance, orc. Touch me again and I shall condemn you to the eternal darkness." He kept his voice calm and soft.

"The same goes for you all." He abruptly turned, his warrior's braid flipping from one shoulder to the other. He moved smoothly toward the edge of the clearing, retrieving his staff. He lifted the strap of the bag of trade goods and coins and seated it firmly across his powerful chest and shoulders.

The orc chief shook its head as though awaking from a dream. It pointed with its knife. It screamed and charged.

Selsdrin, expecting this, turned and planted his staff into the dirt with one hand while he extended his other hand. A boiling and ragged darkness erupted from his fingers and surrounded the chief, centered at its head.

The chief kept running, but Selsdrin stepped away from the large oak tree and into the forest. He smiled as he heard the hollow thunk of the orc's skull striking the tree and his blind screams of anger.

He moved quickly, but carefully, away from the orc camp. He had a limited time before the magic he'd cast would fade, and when it did, he knew, the entire tribe would be hunting him.
__________________
"Great Marine commanders, like all great warriors, are able to kill that which they love most - their men."
-Cpt. Nathaniel Fick, USMC (ret.)

"Jerusalem is not a settlement."
-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

"Give a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day, but set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
-Terry Pratchett
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-24-2013, 12:30 AM
Mouser's Avatar
Mouser Mouser is offline
Manly and Impulsive!
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Barging into your shuttle...
Posts: 21,487
Mouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond repute
Default

For many days, Selsdrin dodged the Clan of the Elf Ears as he made his way in the direction the memorized map had indicated. He rested in the trees during the day, moving and hunting at night. His belly rumbled, reminding him of his success as a hunter.

Worms and grubs were not any food he ever would have chosen at a feast, but he had seen a hunting orc lift a log and grab a handful as a snack during a particularly close call. That stolen knowledge had sustained him ever since.

His body was covered with scabbed scratches from brambles. His chest was rubbed raw by the pack he had improvised out of braided bark and branches. His legs itched from a rash he had picked up from a poison plant. His battle braid had come undone, so his hair was in an apprentice's tail. He waddled with discomfort, hunched over and weak.

He paused, then, listening for his pursuers. For the first time since his capture, he could not hear them, but he thought he could just make out the sound of water over rock, so he hitched up the sack over his back, took his staff firmly in hand, and stumbled in that direction.

***

Selsdrin pushed aside the branch and stared. The giant flat-tailed animal waddled along toward the water. An even stranger elf, if elf you could call it, riding bare-back.

The elf was as naked as Selsdrin, but his hair and skin were a mottled blue and green. He looked as if he had been tortured some time in the past, leaving deep symmetrical scars along both sides of his neck and ribs. His fingers and toes were webbed.

That detail, the webbed hands and feet stirred a memory in Selsdrin. That strange creature was a Sea Elf, one of the freaks that inhabited the deep sea and could breathe water! He leaned closer and tumbled out in an ungainly kowtow.

The giant beaver whipped around, slapping the nearby lake with its tail. The sea elf stared calmly at Selsdrin, a smile slowly creeping across its face, revealing unsettlingly carnivorous teeth. He shifted his seat and his mount turned again, stepping gracefully into the lake.

As he descended into the water, the sea elf gestured with one hand and spoke a word of power. The smile grew broader as the scars on his neck and torso split to reveal full sets of gills. The water surrounded him and he vanished into the depths.

A shimmering orb appeared around Selsdrin, lifting him into the air. He banged with his fists on the immaterial orb and screamed in frustration. The orb rose and followed the strange looking elf into the water. Selsdrin continued to kick at the hard shell that surrounded him until his breath came in impotent ragged spasms, but he remained imprisoned.

The ball containing Selsdrin followed the strange elf and his mount deep into the lake, then up into a dry and comfortably warm burrow that seemed to be in the middle of the water. The bubble popped and Selsdrin fell heavily into the felt-lined chamber, overwhelmed by the musky smell of beaver and cedar. He tried to move, but found hself gently pressed back into his bed.

The strange elf's voice came from deep in his chest, as though each word were a belch. "You appear to be in some distress, my brother."

The Undercommon was so heavily accented, it was barely comprehensible.

"Rest here, and I shall bring you food, until you are able to continue on your journey. Grow strong."

Selsdrin could not protest. He could only remove the pack and set it aside. He passed out dirty and covered in wounds, and awoke an unknown number of hours later, clean and healed.

He awakened, stretched and yawned, still naked, still in the musky chamber, and still alone, but there was fresh fish, prepared with a soft grain and wrapped together with vegetables in some kind of edible plant leaf. The rolls had both salty and spicy dipping sauces.

He ate his fill, drank the deceptively mild liquor that accompanied the food, and fell back asleep.

***

Selsdrin Everhar stood among the copse of trees on the night-fog shrouded island in the middle of the lake and listened to the orcs hunting and foraging in the surrounding forests. From this vantage, with his Drow sight, he could just make out the dam that supported the lake far in the distance. He still wore no clothes, but he was warm and dry. The lake, fed as it was by underground hot springs, meant that he could go swimming at his leisure without growing chill.

His host absented himself for days at a time, but would encourage him to swim and eat when he was home. Selsdrin was asked repeatedly for stories of his home. Each time he would be instructed to tell the story from a different perspective, as though he were being tested regarding his truthfulness.

He suspected that was exactly what was happening, and he promised himself that he would remember that interrogation technique for the future.

In return, he was offered swimming instruction, taught how to ride a beaver, on land and in the water, and how to tie many different kinds of knots.

He had a length of rope in his hands now, and he practiced knots while he listened. He could leave any time, he had been told, but he decided to wait for the orcs to leave. They had camped nearby for months.

He couldn't imagine why they would ever leave.

Making his decision, he tied a simple knot in the middle of the length of rope, then a couple of loops in the end, for gripping.

It was time for him to do some hunting of his own.

***
__________________
"Great Marine commanders, like all great warriors, are able to kill that which they love most - their men."
-Cpt. Nathaniel Fick, USMC (ret.)

"Jerusalem is not a settlement."
-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

"Give a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day, but set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
-Terry Pratchett
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-29-2013, 07:36 PM
Mouser's Avatar
Mouser Mouser is offline
Manly and Impulsive!
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Barging into your shuttle...
Posts: 21,487
Mouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond reputeMouser has a reputation beyond repute
Default

The orc sentry stood a vigilant watch over his village, spear held in both hands across his chest.* He knew how to chop with the broad blade as well as he knew how to pierce with it.* He had trained to attack with the blunt end as well.* He especially enjoyed smashing heads.

None of his training or experience availed him when a naked Drow tightened the knotted rope around his throat, cutting off his air and preventing him from crying out.* The crackle of tracheal cartilage seemed unnaturally loud in the still darkness.

Selsdrin caught the spear against his victim's chest as he kept the pressure on both sides of the orc's neck.* It was dead before Selsdrin laid it softly onto the ground.

He searched the body until he found the items he sought, then busied himself briefly making certain the hooked gutting and skinning knife was as sharp as he needed it to be.

He strode unchecked to the only tent in the camp, stepping around the sleeping orcs, past the cookfires, and over the steaming piles of orc dung.* He passed the female orcs gathered together for warmth under a poorly tanned hide, and knelt near the rear of the crudely made structure. He cut a tiny eyeslit and looked.*

As he suspected, the orc chieftain slept alone, his head toward the rear of the tent.* Empty wineskins littered the floor, but one sniff told Selsdrin that it had been a long time since they had held wine.

He slowly and deliberately applied pressure, and the slit lengthened until Selsdrin could slip his head and torso inside.* He gripped the knotted rope in both hands and stepped through the slit.* The huge half-orc lay face down on thick carpets and filthy cushions.

He crouched, readied himself, and coughed.

Nothing.

He coughed again.

Still nothing.

He pulled back a foot and kicked the muscular chieftain in the ribs.* The enraged, monstrously huge half-orc came instantly awake, rearing up and looking for the source of his pain.*

His tent was empty.

He spun around, but could find no one.* His mouth tasted like blood and shit from the fiery liquor his mates brewed for him.* That was normal.* He stretched and yawned and scratched himself.

His neck began to hurt him as though he'd slept on it wrong, and there was an ache in his upper back, as though someone was kneeling there.* His breaths became more ragged, and he coughed.

He reached for his throat and found a necklace wrapped tightly around the base.* He couldn't think.* Had he gotten a gift?

He couldn't remember the night before.

There was the liquor.* That was certain.

He fell to his knees, but not by choice.* His legs refused to hold him up.* "How strange," he thought.* "They have never disobeyed me before."* No one disobeyed him.* No one except that damned Drow.

He had looked for the Drow for a long time.* That was why they were camped near the lake.**

Kill the Drow.

Kill the Drow.

"Kill the Drow." was his last thought and the first words he said when Gruumsh slapped him awake in the afterlife.* His ancestors mocked him for eternity.

Well, almost all of his ancestors.* His oldest ancestor, the founder of his clan, would not speak to him at all.

***

Selsdrin Everhar looked up from the dead half-orc at the shrine to Gruumsh on one side of the tent near the sleeping furs.* A pair of matched elvish longswords with dueling hilts were crossed above it.* The scabbards were impossibly old, the leather cracked and poorly repaired with an unidentifiable leather.

He took them.* He promised himself he would replace the scabbards as soon as he could.

He left the same way he came in.
__________________
"Great Marine commanders, like all great warriors, are able to kill that which they love most - their men."
-Cpt. Nathaniel Fick, USMC (ret.)

"Jerusalem is not a settlement."
-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

"Give a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day, but set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
-Terry Pratchett
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
prologue

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright on all original post text belongs to the poster.