PB Writes

Post Reply
User avatar
Punchbuggy
Posts: 51
Location: Norf Murica

PB Writes

Post by Punchbuggy » Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:36 am

Howdy! I'm Punchbuggy and I do some writing. I'm sure more than one RPer has said the same. I do not do it for real money or gold, but I DID used to do it for lols. heh. Anyway, at one time I used to write a serial for my RP group on retail several years ago. Life has been... life and I haven't been able to properly sit and write for some time SOOOO... indulge me, please. My aim is to revive the practice and vomit up a serial on this forum. I appreciate constructive criticism and corrections on my incorrect assumptions. In the other series I would put in characters of other people's making, but I do not plan on doing that here, as it becomes sticky on ownership. I do appreciate kudos, but constructive criticism is more helpful. It's been a while, so excuse me as I attempt to knock the dust off my keyboard.

Edit: I am writing this in a word processor and pasting it here and I now see that the formatting does not transfer over. I will attempt to keep that in mind in the future. Maybe double space my paragraphs or something.
Last edited by Punchbuggy on Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sometimes I amuse only myself

User avatar
Punchbuggy
Posts: 51
Location: Norf Murica

Re: PB Writes

Post by Punchbuggy » Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:37 am

It felt good. The pain exploded across his cheek, probably fracturing his face. Blood and snot ran out of his nose, a river of hurt cascading over his lips like a waterfall. A strike pummeled into his chest and he coughed involuntarily, spittle and red droplets ejecting from his mouth. He forced limp arms up in to some kind of defensive posture. The next hit ignored his feeble defense and cut a ragged gash across his abdomen. He deserved this thrashing.

He fell to a knee as his assailants got more brave, more confident that their mark was doomed. In the backstreets of Old Town in Stormwind anything could happen. A murder of a vagrant for his few coins was nothing new. Especially a vagrant who claimed to be the strongest man in Azeroth. Doubly true for some weird carnie fresh off the boat from Silas Darkmoon’s mysterious island. All carnies were crooks of some kind anyway, weren’t they? Thieves, liars, braggadocios and shifty bastards all. Of course the coin this one had had to have been gotten illicitly.

This red-haired man deserved this beating.

He agreed with them, but for completely different reasons.

He was no thief, liar or any of the other things he knew common folks thought of if they thought of carnies at all. He deserved it because he wasn’t the strongest man. He deserved it because he was a fool. He deserved it because he ran away when things got difficult. Ran from his title being torn from him. Ran from his obligations to Darkmoon Fair brethren. Ran from her rejection.

Love given so totally there was nothing else. Love trampled and scoffed.

A tooth skittered across the cobblestones. Was that his tooth?

“Elune’s shiny ass! Is that my tooth?”

The ruffians paused in their pummeling, taken aback at the unexpected exclamation.

The red-haired man snatched the wayward tooth and regained his feet.

His tongue thickly explored his mouth. Finding the gap he growled.

“Now I will look like a freak and she will never have me! Bastards!”

Red’s thickly calloused hand grabbed the nearest man and threw him angrily in to another would-be murderer. The three remaining men communally decided it was time to press their advantage against the unarmed Red. They rushed, a pair of short blades and a club leading the charge, murderous intent plain in bloodshot eyes.

Strong or not, Red was not versed in the ways of combat and the daggers found their targets, peircing deeply in to his ribs. But the club did encounter Red’s most formidable asset. Pure brute strength. His hands curled around the rude wood, the impact spent against a hand hard enough to hammer nails with, much to the delight of the carnival-goers.

Red yanked. Hard. The thief dumbly held on to the club and flipped forward, meeting Red’s upthrust knee. Somewhere in the back of his mind Red hoped the crack he heard was teeth and not neck.

Red pivoted as quickly as he could to face the last two assailants on his flanks. The daggers tore free from their hands and the blood-gutters of the embedded blades did their work, causing Red to bleed down his back and thighs.

He brandished the club at them, a low rumble emitting from his broken face.

They ran for their lives.

Red remembered the pain. It was so delicious before. So deserved. Now it just hurt. By Tyr’s hammer, did it hurt. He again fell to one knee. He plucked his tooth from the dirt and debris of the forgotten ally and popped it into his mouth. He snatched the purse of the nearest mugger for good measure before standing and trying to orient himself in this huge city.

He focused his will on putting one foot in front of another, droplets of blood forming a trail behind him. He knew a bit about fist aid and dared not remove the blades from his flesh as he began the journey to the healers at the Cathedral of Light.

Hopefully they could put the tooth back in place with payment from the attacker’s purse.
Sometimes I amuse only myself

User avatar
Sinrek
Posts: 607

Re: PB Writes

Post by Sinrek » Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:26 pm

Like.

Subscribe.

Awaiting the next chapter. Let it loose!
Support the Turtle smiling_turtle vote for the server HERE.

User avatar
Punchbuggy
Posts: 51
Location: Norf Murica

Re: PB Writes

Post by Punchbuggy » Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:34 am

2

Her eyes sparkled up at him like twin gems of the palest blue. She laughed and clapped giddily, bouncing on her toes. Red grunted with strain as his muscular back rippled with the effort of lifting the large wagon out of a deep rut, clearing the wooden wheel from sucking mud. He flashed her a smile as a horse-faced man quickly shoved a supportive board under the mudded wheel. Red’s exposed chest flexed and bulged as he gently set the cart down.

“So strong!” she exclamed as she stepped forward to caress his thigh.


His smile widened and he unconsciously flexed turning his leg into an iron column.

“Oh!” she blushed coquettishly. “Does everything on you turn to steel?”

His smile split his face and his cheeks turned crimson.

“Well, uhh...” he fumbled dumbly.

“You are a big one, aren’t ya?” she giggled. “A poor little gnome like me wouldn’t stand a chance against you, would she?” She pressed her bosom against his leg and batted her long lashes at him.

“Well, uhh...” he repeated equally intelligently.

“You two gunna play grabass or are we moving?” the horse-faced man questioned, hoisting himself in to the driver’s seat. “Silas isn’t going to wait forever, you know.”

“Oh, uh, yeah.” Red replied, blinking his eyes several times as he tore his gaze from the diminutive vixen. His ham fist gripped the tailgate of the covered wagon as it lurched forward. He offered her his hand.

“Oh you!” she giggled, turning away from him and scampering up the road past the last wagon of the train to her personal vehicle.

Red pulled himself into the back of the wagon and craned his neck around the bonnet, watching her scamper away. He gazed longingly until he could see her no more, safely away in a wagon far ahead.



“Hey! You! Redhead!” a voice punched out to him from somewhere. Red blinked several times, the memory faded away. Or perhaps fantasy. Or maybe some kind of alternate reality inflicted on him by cruel gods for their amusement.

Slowly his eyes focused on the reality of now. Cold white stone in very sensible, yet airy, arches towered over him and soft warm carpet lay below him. Several humans surrounded him. Several priests in vestments of station, a few pages in simple clothes and a single city guard in smartly polished armor crowded around him.

“He’s coming around, I think,” the guard said, his hand firmly on the pommel of his sword.

“It would seem a bit of The Light’s blessings helped the poor wretch,” a priest said.

“What’s your deal, then?” the guard questioned.

“Did you fix my tooth?” Red returned.

“Your damn tooth? Does this look like a barbery, boy? We’ll be asking the questions here!” the guard said as he drew an inch of steel from his scabbard. “Now then. What devilry are you about?”

Red sat up and explored his mouth with his tongue. He frowned, disappointed to find the gap remaining in his mouth. “I got waylaid by brigands in Old Town.”

A priest placed a hand on the guard’s shoulder. “You see, Phillip? It is as I guessed. Light’s own mercy was shown to this boy.”

The guard relaxed and nodded. “It’s as you say, Father. Forgive me.”

The priest offered the guard a compassionate smile. “No need, Phillip.

“Check the donation box for some unfettered clothing for the boy and prepare him a bowl of water to cleanse himself, he looks terrible,” the priest commanded of his underlings.

Pages scrambled away as Red looked down at himself. His wounds were mostly closed and the blades had been withdrawn from his flesh. His clothes were ripped and punctured, dyed red-brown with his own blood. “I am no boy and I can pay for only the healing.”

The priest waved a dismissive hand as Red searched himself for the thief’s purse. “Your belongings, such as they were, were taken by Philip here as evidence. Do not fret, though. There will be no charge for our minor services, should your story prove true.”

“And if not?” Red cocked an eyebrow.

The guard Philip leaned over Red and said, quite seriously, “Still no charge, but it’ll be the Stockades for ya.”

Red frowned and took stock of his worldly possessions removed by the guard. The purse, the club he still clutched after the battle and…. Well, that was it. He huffed a sigh and looked back up to the guard.

“The alley behind that armorer. The one across from that tavern that smells like charcoal. That’s where it happened. I came out of the tavern and thought I would take a shortcut to the city center.”

Philip nodded and looked to the priest, “Father?”

The priest nodded and said, “Go, we have the matter quite under control here. Despite his bulk, we are quite capable of detaining him for the time being.”

With a nod the guard stepped away to investigate the alleged crime scene.

“Now, about that cleaning, young man,” the priest said, emphasizing the last word. “You smell quite bad.”

Red eased himself off the floor, grunting with the pain of the incomplete healing. “Lead on.”



Several hours had passed and Red sat on a wooden bench resplendent in his new clothes. A plain brown shirt absent of adornment and ill-fitting breeches held in place with a bit of frayed rope. At least someone took the trouble to give a cursory wash to his boots, which lay on the floor beside the bench.

The offered wash basin had been taken away with it’s filthy water and Red genuinely felt better for having even that simple luxury. With the basin absent the room was quite empty, barring the bench. It must be some kind of meditation cell, Red thought, observing the religious iconography over the door in the otherwise bare room. Outside the simple wooden door an armored Paladin stood, Red knew, guarding the cathedral against any shenanigans he may consider.

The door creaked open and Red sat up straighter, eager for the bread and water promised to him earlier. His disappointment was minor in that was that guard, Peter or something.

“It seems that the Light loves you. Or perhapes hates you, depending on your view,” Philip said.

Red raised an eyebrow, “How so?”

“I found the spot,” the guard whistled, “or spots, I should say. Quite a bit of blood, but only one corpse. Guy called Bagger Trice. Known mugger. Never caught him with anything, though.”

Red stood. “What’s that mean for me?”

“I talked it to a magistrate after getting statements from the tavernkeeper. She said that your story holds up. If guilty of anything it’s that of a terrible taste in mead and an unlucky disposition.”

Philip grinned at his wittiness. He swept his hand toward the door expansively. “You’re free to go. And, if I may ask, what is your business in Stormwind, stranger?”

“Passing through, looking for work, I don’t really know,” Red replied.

Philip frowned under his helmet. “We don’t take to kindly to beggars and vagrants.”

A page bustled in from behind Philip and the open doorway. He handed Red the club and a purse much heavier for the passage of time. Red frowned at the purse then at the page. The page smiled and patted Red’s huge hand, “The Light provides.”

After the page made his departure Philip spoke again, “If you need work and know how to swing that stick about, I know someone who could use those massive lumps you call muscles in Goldshire.”

“Goldshire? That little town south of here?” Red asked as he tied the purse to his belt and slid the club into a place at his waist.

Philip nodded. “Murlocs, I think. Or kobolds. Maybe those damn Defias.” He rolled his eyes, “Hells, could be the gnolls in Elwynn Forest. I don’t know. Just find Marshal Dughan. He will fill you in. I know he has been authorized to reward adventurer types with coin and some surplus armor.”

Red looked down at himself. “Don’t suppose he will lend me the armor before I complete the tasks, huh?”

Philip chuckled and shook his head. “I doubt that.”

He again gestured grandly to the doorway.
Sometimes I amuse only myself

User avatar
Punchbuggy
Posts: 51
Location: Norf Murica

Re: PB Writes

Post by Punchbuggy » Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:03 am

3


Calling Goldshire a town was being generous, Red knew. It was a few miles from the gates of Stormwind, deep in the Elwynn forest, nestled in among the tall trees. More of a trade stop at a convenient cross road than an actual town. A few houses and a forge supplemented the oversized inn serviced travelers before entering the sprawling metropolis of Stormwind.

It definitely saw trade there, though. It was far enough outside of the immense city gates to provide allow all manner of human and inhuman travelers with goods and services and close enough to be provided some protection by regular patrols of the Stormwind Guard. Here local farmers and ranchers to poor to buy shop space in the city could easily set up stalls to sell their wares and colorful carts would often crowd the shoulders of the broad crossroad. The huge inn had dozens of rooms and was rumored to be rented by the hour for those seeking a tryst outside of the view of a loved one or judgmental eyes. If you were in to that kind of thing, Stormwind wasn’t always welcoming of nonhumans.

It was also where the Darkmoon Fair would set up when they came through the area. A large clearing was designated just for that purpose. The Fair employed many creatures found to be odorous to human layman. Humans worked side by side with gnomes, dwarves, gnolls and even the occasional murloc and ogre.

Red found it much the same as he always did, albeit much more quiet without the raucous fanfare of carnival barkers and throngs of Fair-goers. The sound of the forge still rang out in the trees, the banging of hammers on anvils a near constant ringing like a drunken ogre playing a badly damaged xylophone. He smiled at the minor familiarity. He felt much more comfortable here than in the alien city sprawl of Stormwind, with its crowded streets and overwhelming humanity and homogeneity of every building, every street.

As he approached the forge he easily spotted the marshal standing beside a stack of crates stamped with the Stormwind crest talking to a pair of humans. The two wore equally voluminous cloaks, what appeared to be a man and a woman. The man spoke with fluidity, weaving his hands about as he spoke while the woman almost hid behind her partner, peering over his shoulder timidly.

“So, what you are saying is that you want us to choose between going to the south, where some creatures,” the man spat the last word, “happen to have made a home and murder them all so you can mine copper? Or! Or, we could go east to a lake and murder some other creatures in their natural habitat, minding their own business?”

The marshal grimaced a moment before nodding, “Yes. The ones in the mine are there illegally and they are thieves and kill any who attempt to enter--”

“I’d do the same, if someone barged in to my home with weapons and fire,” the man interrupted.

“And to the east are murlocs,” the marshal continued, “which kill and eat any person or livestock that comes to close to the lake.”

The Marshall pinched his nose and sighed. “There are gnolls to the west and Defias bandits hiding in the forest as well.”

“And what did they do to deserve eradication? Steal a loaf of bread?”

The marshal frowned, seeming to genuinely turning angry at this. “Murder, theft and cannibalism not good enough crimes for them either, good sir?”

Red inserted his bulk between the two at this, “Before this turns to fisticuffs and the business of mercenary work is at its end for the day, might I have a word, marshal?”

The man turned away in a huff and walked across the street to the inn, the woman trailing behind. The marshal exhaled a plume of anger and rolled his shoulders before eyeing Red.

“And what do you want? Going to spank some naughty children with that switch?” the marshal said, eyeing Red’s feeble weapon.

Red chuckled, “No, I was sent here from the cathedral by a guy named Philip to ask about work. He said you had work paying in armor for those willing.”

The marshal sighed again, releasing the tension in his chest. “Yes, sorry for that. The many dangers of the forest are to numerous for the patrols to keep up with and everyone out here seems to have a minor noble for a cousin.” He rolled his shoulders again with a clank of plated armor. “The crown provides this forge here with coin to produce armor and weapons for those completing tasks that benefit the kingdom.”

Red nodded with a smile, “Those crates there, I get it. What kind of tasks would you have for someone as ill equipped as I? Someone who perhaps has little training with a blade?”

Marshal Dughan rolled his eyes and sighed yet again. “Honestly, anything I have for you would probably kill you. You’re fit, obviously, but it takes more than sheer strength.”

Just then a bald dwarf stepped out of the forge. He sized up the conversation before butting in.

“Hey there, lad, I may have something for ye. Let us adjourn tay the inn and a mug of ale and talk it over.”

Red offered his thanks to the marshal before falling in behind the dwarf.

The inn held an almost cavernous greatroom, currently nearly empty. The dwarf sat in a well-worn chair near the great hearth within calling distance of the bar. The man and woman in cloaks sat at the bar discussing something privately as a barmaid brought Red and the dwarf mugs of ale.

“Name’s Diglet. Well, not me full name, a’course. Nickname, as they say.” the dwarf introduced before lighting a deeply engraved pipe and sending blue plumes of smoke to the rafters far overhead.

“Red,” the human said after taking a sip of the sweet honey ale, “Nickname as well, on account of my hair, I assume.”

The dwarf grinned, “So it would seem, so it would seem.”

They pair sat silently a moment, blue clouds spit and golden ale drank.

“Right,” began Diglet, “I need a strong back, ye see. Tay hoist ore.”

“It’s those bastard kobolds to the south. The mine used tay belong tay you tall folk, ye see? Kobolds raided a ways back and forced the humans out.”

Red nodded, listening.

“Not normal for them, ye see? Sure’n a group here ‘n there, but not a whole organized band like that.”

Red leaned forward with interest in his eyes. “Yeah?”

“Mhm. I hear it’s a biggun’ called Goldtooth.”

“Let me guess, a nickname on account of his gold tooth.”

Diglet smirked, “Ye guess rightly.

“I will give ye a large sack tay gather as much ore as ye can and kill that right bastard.” Diglet said before taking another puff of his pipe. “Ye can keep the tooth tay show to the marshal, if ye like, but as for me, I’ll make ye a set of armor with that ore. Fit ye up nice.

“I keep the remaining ore and without their leader the kobolds will turn tay infighting and be able to be rooted out of there, ye see?”

“Do it!” the woman yelled at the man at the bar, startling the pair by the hearth.

The man stood quickly and strode over to the fire and offered a small bow.

“Excuse me, kind sirs,” the man said, “I could not help but overhear your conversation. Let me introduce myself. I am Reothadh and this lovely creature is my bride, Suumara. We are travelers from far off and adept at the magical arts. My astute loved-one observed that you are ill-equipped for a venture in to hostile territory.”

Red crinkled his nose, the smell of fecal matter wafting from the man he had not noticed outdoors assailing his nostrils. He did his best to ignore it and nod agreeably in Reothadh’s direction.

“While you seem to be of strong stock,” Reothadh continued, “we could make a formidable team. Your physical strength and our magical strength.

“As distasteful as I find it to hoist homeowners from their domicile,” Reothadh said as his hands wove every syllable in to the air. “We need to be seen as agreeable in this alien land and one must do as one must do to be seen as an ally. If you would perchance allow us to turn over this gold tooth and thereby reap the accolades of the marshal, we would be willing to take up this task alongside you.”

Diglet shrugged, “I got no problem with it, if ye are fine with it, Red.”

Red grinned, “Sure, sounds like a deal to me. Three’s company.”

Reothadh clasped his hands together happily, “You two were sharing nicknames and so shall we. You may call me Thad and my beloved Mara.”

“When ye be done with yer preparations, meet me back at the forge and I’ll lend ye that sack and me best pick ax.” Diglet hopped off the chair and clapped Red on the shoulder. “It’ll work well as a weapon, too.” He winked and left the building.

“I’m ready when you are, Thad,” Red said as he stood. “I have all I own on me.”

Thad held up a finger, “Wait but a moment. I will conjure some food and water. It will refresh and aid in healing, should the need arise. It is magically taxing and takes more than a moment to summon, so it is best to do so well beforehand.”

“Right, I’ve seen it done before.” Red said then thought a moment before adding, “I don’t suppose either of you know anything of dentistry?”
Sometimes I amuse only myself

User avatar
Rhaco
Posts: 42

Re: PB Writes

Post by Rhaco » Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:14 pm

Very nice! I second Sinrek's opinion, I highly enjoyed it all so far.
[H] Sachatamia / Rhaco / Pollywog

User avatar
Punchbuggy
Posts: 51
Location: Norf Murica

Re: PB Writes

Post by Punchbuggy » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:10 am

{{The wife drew these for me. She is so much more talented than I am. I think she went a bit to skinny e-boy on Red, but still way better than I could ever do))


Image

Image
Sometimes I amuse only myself

User avatar
Punchbuggy
Posts: 51
Location: Norf Murica

Re: PB Writes

Post by Punchbuggy » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:43 pm

4

“Stel teg nrocpop,” the demon said in its infernal language, “mi yrgnuh.”

The dark green skinned orc spat back, “tuhs pu, ew lliw teg gnihtemos retal.”

The duo stepped around an inconveniently placed supporting line for one of the various colorful tents placed upon the beaten ground strewn with litter of a thousand careless hands.

Ebontine drank it all in. His ears twitched from the hammering disembodied music, numbing his mind even as the vomit of riotous colors confused his eyes. Incongruously friendly flags placed haphazardly waved to him in greeting, inviting seductively. Faces of every shape, color and race swam out of the darkness of open tents, promising him unearthly entertainments. Gnarled and twisted paws beckoned the unwary in to the shadows while smooth and comely hands caressed the air tantalizingly from those same dark depths. Promises of otherworldly treasures in exchange for near-impossible to obtain scraps of paltry paper floated under it all like the sweet touch of a forgotten lover.

A nightmare of delights awaited those who visited the Darkmoon Fair.

A gnome in an almost comically over-sized vest decorated in garish color called out to Ebontine. No words were spoken. No dulcet tones. No gravelly purr. No falsetto ringing pierced the throng. Yet, called out he was. It was a pulling at his mind to tear his eyes from the hypnotism of the fair to lock on to the gnome’s amber orbs as the diminutive man perched upon a sturdy box.

Ebontine shook his head confusedly and blinked several times. Behind him, his forgotten imp companion muttered about something inane.

The gnome’s eyes thrust in to the orc’s mind and planted the seeds of a thought, a dream, a command. Power could be his. The paltry imp was a plaything the most novice of warlocks could summon. Summoning a winged Doomguard was the blasphemous voiceless dream of the most unreachable heights of fel magic. Ripping the cosmos to pull the greater red demon into Azeroth had been attempted before, but never successfully by those Ebontine called peers. Entire covens had been laid waste in the attempts, many yanked screaming in to the Twisting Nether.

This power could be his alone, but all power comes at a price. A price Ebontine was willing to pay. The price of one head. One head adorned with a crown of red hair.
Sometimes I amuse only myself

User avatar
Punchbuggy
Posts: 51
Location: Norf Murica

Re: PB Writes

Post by Punchbuggy » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:44 pm

((Sorry for the intermission. We had some bad storms here and lost power for a day, then life and clean up happened. I'll get back on my self imposed schedule soon.))
Sometimes I amuse only myself

User avatar
Punchbuggy
Posts: 51
Location: Norf Murica

Re: PB Writes

Post by Punchbuggy » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:42 pm

5

Red grunted with effort, pulling the bloodied pick from the corpse of a kobold. He grimaced at the gore at his feet, the dog-like humanoid broken and battered. Its rough, yellow helmet with the crooked candle jammed atop it spilled wax onto the rocky floor. Meager light from the candle flickered as the flame guttered.

Thad produced a lit lantern from somewhere within his deep cloak and overwhelmed the sparse light with a beacon of luminescence. Mara shimmied from behind her male counterpart to examine the remains.

“No gold teeth,” she pronounced timidly.

Red sighed and picked up his heavy sack, its weight a testament to the success of that portion of the task, at least. He flopped the bag over one shoulder and rested the pick over the other shoulder before squinting in to the darkness of the labyrinthine mine.

“Logic dictates that this cave network can only go so deep,” Thad said. “Already we seem to be reaching the limits of the human excavations. Trusses and supports have been coming few and far between. The rock here is inexpertly cut and the kobolds have become sparse.

“Regardless, we must see the end of this quickly as my magical reserves are running low.”

Mara flashed a rare smile, her white teeth gleaming in the depths of her hooded cloak, “And your physical reserves, hun. I saw you huffing.”

She patted Thad’s narrow shoulder motherly. Thad withdrew in to his cloak, embarrassed.

Red ignored the duo and sifted through the broken remnants of human-owned debris with his booted foot. A two-wheeled cart, lanterns, scattered buckets and a few tools, all broken into unusable bits. Finding a short length of rope, he set his load down before tying his ore-encumbered sack around his shoulder like a haversack. He nodded to himself, satisfied that his his off hand was now free.

Thad offered a lid from a broken barrel to Redcrown, a thin bit of wire wrapped around it several times. “For your newly freed left hand. A shield, of sorts.”

Red took the improvised shield and tested its feel with a few awkward blocks of an imaginary foe. He shrugged and thanked the mage, “I’ll give it a go.”

The small party once again turned to the depths of the tunnels. With the light from Thad’s lantern guiding them they crept cautiously forward. Red took the lead, his bulk filling the space like a living wall of muscle and bone even as Mara slinked in the back, all but lost in the shadow of the other two.

Faintly at first, then with a building crescendo, the trio heard the tink tink tinking of picks on stone. Thad extinguished his light and they crept in hushed darkness. A stink wafted up the tunnel, gritty stone dust caked their tongues as the smell of fermented feces, old blood and infinite layers of old sweat assailed their nostrils.

“Pew!” slipped from Mara’s lips. She blushed and pursed her lips when the men stared daggers at her. “Stinks,” she whispered.

Red waved a hand at his side, indicating that the magic casters should stay back as he entered the stinking cavern. He tucked himself against a wall to peer in. Dozens of candles stuck haphazardly on any available surface lit the area, a nimbus of light guiding the rudimentary digging tools of kobolds. A larger specimen stomped among them, barking at one, slapping another in to working harder.

Red looked back down the tunnel to the pair of unseen wizards. His jaw clenched in a hard line as he nodded to them. Looking back in to the cavern he gripped his pick and shield tightly, feeling the wire of the shield bite in to his palm. He took several long breaths, drawing all his strength in to a single point of focus in to his mind.

He stepped forward in to the light and bellowed a challenge. His muscles rippled and strained with the primal scream. The echo reverberated and refracted from the walls, sending loosened rock to rain upon the upturned and surprised dog-like faces of the kobold miners.

In a flash Red was upon them. He was a hurricane of steel and death as his red hair caught the light, a funeral pure to his foes seeming to burn bright atop his head. Startled in to motion the kobolds panicked. They began to run in all directions, heedless of the direction.

Bolts of liquid shadow spat from the mouth of the cavern, melting the flesh of fleeing kobolds. Icy blasts trailed a faint blue light and encapsulated many, lines of power thrust from Thad’s outstretched hands.

The large kobold eyed the panic in his brethren and issued a bellowing challenge of his own and tossed aside wild-eyed minions in his march toward the human wrecking ball that was Redcrown. Rain of magical destruction canopied the pair as they met.

The huge kobold growled savagely, exposing his sharpened golden teeth. Red radiated power and rage as he faced down his ultimate foe, batting away a stray kobold.

The two charged at one another. Befouled claws slashed at Red’s feeble shield as Red swept upward with his pickax, Puncturing Goldtooth’s hip and spraying them both with sticky blood.

Goldtooth howled in anger and retreated, but Red pressed on, his rage a red veil over his vision. The rage was all. He was no longer in control of his own actions. Fury the pilot of the vehicle that was Redcrown while his reasoning mind watch dispassionately.

Red’s powerful arms bunched and released, the pick stabbing again at the kobold, narrowly missing a strike to the head. Goldtooth ducked and swiped, sundering Red’s shield. Splinters of wood floated lazily in the air as Red watched himself move, the pick chopping back and opened a gash in Goldtooth’s chest.

Again Goldtooth attempted to retreat and again Red pressed forward, the horde of minor kobolds forgotten amisdt the conjured destruction of the wizards.

Goldtooth grappled Red’s free arm and lunged to bite, scraping foul fangs in to Red’s chest. Red observed himself deliver a bite of his own, teeth sinking deep in to the kobold’s eye. Eye juice squirted across Red’s face and Goldtooth released his grip in shocked pain.

Goldtooth tried to flee in earnest now, turning to run with all alacrity. Red leapt upon its back, His free hand encircling Goldtooth’s neck. His huge fist squeezed the creature’s Adam’s apple and Goldtooth squeaked out in horror. Red’s incredible strength applied to the pickax, slamming it repeatedly backward into the captured kobold’s chest. The point buried itself deep enough to punctured completely through the creature and score a dozen wounds on to Red’s own chest. The Fury was all.

Red ripped the throat from his foe and screamed at the heavens, holding it aloft like the greatest prize ever known. He watched himself turn to the last opponents standing, a pair of robed wizards as he cast aside the mangled meat of Goldtooth.

“Whew! Good job, Red!” Thad exclaimed as the huge human stalked toward his prey.

“Red?” Mara squeaked.

The red-haired human gripped his weapon tighter and broke in to a run at the pair.

“Oh, shit! FROST NOVA!” Thad screeched, loosing a wave of frosty power. Ice emanated from Thad and froze Red’s feet. Murder in his eyes and reason lost, Red’s powerful legs pistoned and shattered the entrapping ice.

Mara withdrew a crystal from her pocket and shattered it between her fingers,.“Evalsne,” she whispered in the language of the demonic. As the powerful artifact broke in to a myriad of pieces time stopped. Mara watched as the invaluable item worked its power. Grey-black ghostly chains writhed up from below, snaking their way up Red’s legs. Encircling his chest they slammed together with a flash of power and a dozen purple translucent locks came in to existence and bound the out of control warrior.

Red howled in rage, but even the sound was imprisoned by the power of the spell. He fell over, writhing and kicking uselessly.

Mara slumped and Thad rushed to her side. His thin hands caressed her cheek as her flesh flaked away, exposing bone.

“I lost it, Thad. That human forced me to use my enslaving crystal on him,” she sobbed.

“We will get another,” Thad comforted her. “Do not worry your pretty little head.”

She smiled weakly at him, her face the rictus grin of the dead. “I think the disguise has been lost, too.”

Thad nodded and flicked a chunk of flesh from her teeth. “Seems so, my darling love. Let’s pry those gold teeth free and quit this place.”

Mara regained her footing and took a small knife from her pocket, her eyes intent on Goldtooth’s corpse.

Shuffling through his many hidden pockets Thad produced a jar of pale ointment. “Looks like enough for a few more uses. Leave the living. He may have gone mad, but does not deserve Her Embrace yet. He was useful and may be so again.”

Mara nodded as she stabbed in to Goldtooth’s gums.
Sometimes I amuse only myself

Post Reply