Chapter #939

previous chapter (#938)                                                                  next chapter (#940)

                                   +   +
                                 +       +
                               +           +
                             +               +
                           +                   +
                         +                       +
                       +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                         +                       +
                           +       Epic V      +
                             +               +
                               +           +
                                 +       +
                                   +   +

+     Many of the locations, non-player characters, spells, and other     +
+   terms used in these stories are the property of Wizards of the Coast  +
+   which has in no way endorsed or authorized their use.  Any such       +
+   property contained within these stories are not representative of     +
+   Wizards of the Coast in any fashion.                                  +
+     The player characters depicted in these stories are copyright       +
+   1991-2006 by Thomas A. Miller.  Any resemblance to any persons        +
+   or characters either real or fictional is utterly coincidental.       +
+   Copying and/or distribution of these stories is permissible under     +
+   the sole condition that no money is made in the process.  In that     +
+   case, I hope you enjoy them!                                          +
+   Daffodil        11th level human druidess of Obad-Hai                 +
+   Halbarad        15th level human ranger of Ehlonna                    +
+   Peyote          12th/12th level half-elven fighter/druid of Obad-Hai  +
+   Rillen          18th level human warrior monk                         +
+   Songa           13th level human huntress                             +
+                                                                         +
+   Dervan           9th level human ranger                               +
+   Eyer            13th/16th level wood elven fighter/acrobat            +
+   Leila           12th/12th level female grey elven warrior/mage        +
+   Relmar          18th level human high priest of Pelor                 +
+   Weaver           8th level human ranger                               +
+                                                                         +
+   T'kar           human hunter/warrior, native of lost continent        +
+   Date:           7/25/580 C.Y. (Common Year)                           +
+   Time:           late morning                                          +
+   Place:          an undiscovered continent far to the east             +
+   Climate:        hot and humid                                         +
+   "War does not determine who is right - only who is left."             +
+                                                  - Bertrand Russell     +

                    CMXXXIX.  Show of Force

  The party has been following T'kar for three days, with the eventual
goal of reaching the native's tribe and helping them overcome the menace
of a nearby rival tribe.  Once those savage cannibals are defeated, the
adventurers will be shown the way to the hidden mountain pass which will
take them through the peaks and out of this end of the continent.  First,
however, they must deal with a group of the hostile natives whose tracks
have just been found in the vicinity.

T'kar:  (muttering to himself in his native tongue)
Halbarad:  (to Leila)  I know this is the remnants of someone's trail,
  but what is he saying?
Leila:  He's saying that the cannibals were here, and may yet be close
Songa:  (grips her spear tightly)  We'd best be ready.
Eyer:  (checks his bowstring)  We will be.
Halbarad:  (looking around)  You'd better be - it just occurred to me
  that we're in a good place for an ambush.  And I think I just heard
  something.  (he hefts his battleaxe, his dagger now in his other hand)

  The foes must have been lying in wait in the dense foliage bordering
the riverbank, waiting for the right time to spring their ambush.  The
attack was sudden and brutal, a dozen screaming, half-naked savages
leaping out of the bushes with spears and knives raised for the kill.
Their eyes gleamed like black stones, and they were wild with bloodlust,
their teeth filed to sharp points, their war-cries filling the jungle.
However, they weren't facing the weaker natives they'd been preying on
all this time - now they faced a group of experienced combatants who
knew a thing or two about battle.

Eyer:  (moving like lightning, he lets an arrow fly, taking one savage
  through an eye)
savage #1:  (falls, already dead)
Eyer:  (nocks another arrow, aims, and fires, hitting a second victim
  in his throat)
savage #2:  (gurgles, dropping his spear and falling to his knees, his
  hands at his throat, which is spewing blood everywhere)

  Both of the elf's kills had taken place before anyone else from either
side had even locked weapons with an opponent.  It was an immediate and
powerful momentum-turner...

Halbarad:  (leaps forth, his axe flashing as it separates another foe's
  head from his shoulders)  Get them!  Now!
Songa:  (charges, her long spear taking a savage in the chest and lifting
  him up into the air)
savage #4:  (screaming and impaled)  Yaaaaaaaargh!
savage #5:  (darts toward the huntress)
Peyote:  Not so fast, dude.  (he swings his bastard sword, shattering
  the foe's spear)
savage #5:  (whips out a knife and leaps upon the half-elf)
Peyote:  (off-balance from his first swing and unable to bring his sword
  to bear in time, he falls in a heap with the other)
Daffodil:  Get away from him!  (she swings her wooden staff, cracking the
  foe across the head)
savage #5:  (rolls over, stunned)
savage #6:  (stabs at Dervan, nicking his side with a spear-tip)
Dervan:  Aargh!
savage #7:  (hurls his spear, barely missing Weaver as the ranger steps
  to one side)
Weaver:  Sorry, friend.  My turn now.  (he lunges, slashing with his
savage #7:  (falls, his chest sliced open)  Aaiiiiieeeeee!
savage #8:  (hurls a spear at the ranger, who isn't looking that way)
Relmar:  Beware!  (he gets his shield up, the fine steel deflecting the
  deadly missile before it can reach the ranger)
Weaver:  Whoa...many thanks!
Relmar:  No problem.  (he turns to face the savage, who is now charging
  with a knife held high)

  The priest of Pelor was no frail old fellow like so many other high
priests, but rather a stout, agile fellow with no mean skill at arms.
His mace swung out, shattering the foe's knife-hand and forearm and
sending the savage to the ground, writhing in pain.  A second blow to
the foe's head finished the job.

Leila:  (somewhat shocked)  I didn't know you could fight.
Relmar:  Magic alone hasn't spread the faith of Pelor for twenty years.
Leila:  I know what you mean.  (she parries a spear-thrust from another
  attacker, then splits his skull with a backswing)
savage #9:  (falls, dying)
savage #10:  Yaaaa!  (he leaps at the grey elf, slashing madly)
Leila:  (steps back, narrowly avoiding the knife's sharp edge)
savage #10:  (advances on Leila, knife raised)
Eyer:  (fires an arrow, which sinks into the man's chest)
savage #10:  Urrrrgh.  (he sinks to his knees, and is quickly dispatched
  by Leila)
Leila:  (nods to Eyer)  Nice shot.
Eyer:  (nods back)  My pleasure.  (he nocks another arrow and looks for
  another target)
savage #11:  (quickly becomes that target, and falls with an arrow in
  his head, his thrown spear sailing wide of his target)
T'kar:  (ignores the spear, and charges into battle, avoiding another
  foe's spear-thrust and then tackling the man)
savage #12:  (goes down in a flurry of flailing arms and knives)

  Only one rose from that pile...T'kar, his knife bloody, his foe quiet
and unmoving.  The native grinned to the others, raising his knife and
speaking in his native tongue.

Leila:  He's happy...he says that this was a great battle.
Rillen:  Not for me - I didn't even get to do anything.  (he shakes his
Songa:  If it's any consolation, bear in mind that you could have taken
  out half of these warriors with your bare hands.
Rillen:  Agreed, but that's not the point.
Peyote:  Don't be sour, dude.  We won the fight!
Rillen:  (sighs)  Indeed.  (to Eyer)  Nice shooting.
Halbarad:  Lethal shooting.
Eyer:  Thanks.  I don't waste time on flashy shots to weapons-hands or
  feet or anything like that.  In real battle, the best shots are the
  effective ones:  head, neck, chest.
Halbarad:  I completely agree.

  Leila listened to T'kar rant and rave for a bit, then informed the
others that the man was quite pleased with the short but impressive show
of force that the group had displayed.  She also informed them that the
village of T'kar's people was only a few hours' march away, definitely
reachable by nightfall.

Halbarad:  Good.  I don't mind helping people fend off a horde of angry
  cannibal attackers, but we need to take care of that, find the secret
  pass through the mountains, use it, and see what other mysteries this
  island holds.

next:      back to Belphanior
released:  9/29/06
notes:     This last 5-episode arc (935-939) was for September 2006, and
  got the "lost continent" group to a logical stopping point.  I've said
  it before, but I'm just not sure how much further I will go with this
  group before the end (episode 1000.)  I mean, think about it:  they're
  in a new place now, with no solid ties to their past or any of my past
  stories.  Anything could happen; their future lies ahead of them, with
  a variety of possibilities.  Maybe that's a good way to leave things.

previous chapter (#938)                                                                  next chapter (#940)