Pillow Talk

14th of Harvester 379 ONT, Better Days in the Rehume Port

Orange light bled in though Aurellia’s eyelids, and banished the last of her dreams. She sighed and rolled over as she stretched, smiling at the softness of the sheets, knowing at once where she was and reaching out to pull her lover closer. Her hand found nothing but a cold bed beside her, and her brow furrowed. Opening her eyes slowly, she scanned the room. To the right of the large bed sat a writing desk, looking at it, Aurellia couldn’t help blushing as the memory of Serenity lifting her on to it and dropping to her knees the night before rushed into her mind. Her hips began twisting slightly as she remembered her palms gripping the edge of the wood, Serenity’s strong hands holding her hips firmly in place as she squirmed. She sighed again, more of a breathless moan this time, and sat up taking in the rest of the room.

The dresser and armoire to the left of the bed were both closed. She saw herself reflected back to her in the small dressing mirror; her light rose hair appeared red in the strong morning sunshine her pale skin almost looked warm. She realized that sunlight meant the curtains were open, revealing the ship’s deck beyond the stateroom, and Aurellia quickly pulled the quilted blanket up to cover her breasts from anyone who might be looking in. The ship’s deck seemed to be deserted, so she quickly slid out of the bed to the floor and crawled to pick her clothes up and dress quickly.

The door to the stateroom opened, and Aurellia’s blush returned, covering much of her body in a pink hue.

“Well this is the best thing I’ve ever seen waiting for me in my room”

Aurellia glanced back over her shoulder at Serenity, “so you were a nun before you met me?”

Serenity kicked the door closed with the side of her boot, placed a couple of covered dishes on the dresser, and sat down on the bed. She began removing her boots, untying the long laces slowly.

“Far from it, but you are something else.”

Aurellia smiled and gathered up her shirt, slipped it on and began looking for her panties. She caught sight of their blue lace peeking out from under the desk, and crawled over to grab them.

“By the sumptuous tits of Aleau, you are killing me over here.”

Coyly, she smiled over her shoulder again, “I’m just getting dressed.”

Serenity pulled open her own shirt and let it slide slowly off her shoulders, “Why?”

“I have work to do”

Serenity laid herself out across the bed, “no you don’t, what work?”

“The Scurvy Naive should be back in the next few days, I need to prep supplies for them and-”


Aurellia looked at her quizzically.

“Don’t go, stay here with me.”

Aurellia stood up and walked over to the bed, where Serenity lay. All the tiny hairs on her body had begun to stand on end. She could feel her own chest swell as she looked at this beautiful woman laid out before her.

“If I stayed, what would we do?”

Serenity’s eyebrow raised as she started untying the front of her pants. She held Aurellia’s gaze as she lifted her hips up into the air and slid them down slightly, “I have some ideas, what would you like to do?”

Aurellia pulled the leather pants off the rest of the way, and dropped them to the floor. She felt bolder when she was with Serenity than she ever had before. She lifted Serenity’s leg and began kissing a Whirl just above her ankle, “what kind of ideas?”

“Well for starters, I’d be willing to do almost anything just to watch you crawl away from me again.”

“Anything, you say?”

The two lay tangled on the bed, Aurellia’s body still writhing slightly as the waves of her orgasm broke farther and farther from the shore of her consciousness. Serenity continued to stroke her hand up and down her lovers side as she marveled at bond she felt, and wondered what to call it. She had enjoyed many encounters with women before, but none of them had lived in her mind and heart so vividly in their absense as Aurellia did.

She smiled to herself and grabbed one of the covered dishes off of the dresser. She brought it right over and sat beside Aurellia. Removing the lid, the air was immediately filled with the sweet smell of ripe berries. Aurellia’s eyes opened wide. "What did you – " she stopped as she saw Serenity lift the largest, reddest strawberry she had ever seen and offer it to her. As Aurellia took a bite she felt lighter, the tastes exploded in her mouth and before she could even swallow, the words “I love you” tumbled from her juice – stained lips.

Serenity placed the dish on the floor and crawled back into bed. Looking into her lover’s eyes she asked, “You do? Or was that just the strawberries and sex talking?”
Aurellia looked right back and without hesitating answered, “I think I’ve loved you since the first moment I saw you.”

Serenity smiled, “So it wasn’t just me…”

Stirings (Pt 1)

Hithaday the 3rd of Ready’reat 381 ONT, 10:14am, Macey’s Buns & Bakery, 3rd spoke – 6th circuit, Don-Ton

Covafac looked up as he heard the door in the outer room open. The old pech signaled the room to be quiet as he aged hands reached for his trusty short sword.

Tap tap tap
Tap tap tap tap

The timeworn pech relaxed a little, as did his companions as they recognised the code. He nodded to a young gnome, Gavroche, to open the door. In came an elven women, Azelma.

“Friends,” she said as she approached the huddled group “the rumors are indeed true, Lord Strahd has closed the city”

“Just Strahd,” Covafac said “… By The Stone, he is no Lord of ours anymore” there was a general murmur of acceptance to this. Azelma nodded and continued

“My connections with Fluid Dynamics unloaded two more crates, both filled with short swords, but were very clear that they would not risk smuggling under Strahds new decree, we are well and truly on our own”

“Where does that put our stores Bamatabois?” Covafac asked of a pudgy old dwarf. The dwarf made a few markings on a scroll before responding

“About 1,200 swords, 200 spears, 150 mixed weapons… axes, hammers and the like and maybe a thousand knives and daggers… we are very short on armor and potions, of that we can only equip fifty or so humans and maybe double that in dwarves.” The group was silent for just a moment before the pech spoke again

“How do we stand with supporters?” this time the young gnome Gavroche spoke up

“Who are ready to take this all the way?” he asked… the pech nodded “the dock workers might join us if things go well, but they are unwilling to sign on yet. The federation of carpenters, masons and lamplighters are in; as are the Porters, the dry smiths and grooms. All said we have about 2,000 folk with battle experience and another 3000 without. The Church of Moredakka has been back and forth on its support, The church of Kelezandri has told us firmly that they are following the laws of Don-Ton, even though fluid dynamics has been actively working with us. The church of Selwyn, Hithilum and Yolo have all implied aid should it be needed but won’t commit money or spells upfront. We have seven clerics to Raven and another two to Yemeri and a cleric to Aurora who have all said they would join our cause. The Wizards Guild remains firmly in Strahds pocket as does the Alchemist guild.” The group nodded at this Bamatabois spoke up again

“The rogue, the thieves guild, the house of K and the pathfinder society have all claimed neutrality. The Were community has been optimistic in their talks, but nothing concrete.


Covafac slammed his fist on the table “The people will rise up, they will join us, the guard, is the guard peoples guard, not Strahds, they will not see citizens slaughtered by undead in the name of Law. He is a tyrant and an abomination and I for one did not fight devils and thirty years to die in a city ruled by undeath… the people will join us and rally to our banners! Speak with your cells, disperse the weapons, the time of action is soon, we will take down Strahd and all the sycophant nobles who do his bidding, Don-Ton will once again be a free city!” the assembled group cheered corralling to their leaders cause.


1st of Ready’reat, #81ONT, Deck of the Champions Boot, Lockland Port, Honastica

Mandy watched as Mr. Cane and Mr. Ironbraid let out another long slew of curses, the two were precariously perched on the mast attempting to hammer a faulty pulley and winch back into shape

“I’m telling you Thitmed it’s not going to work, It’s needed to be replaced for three ports, now it really needs to go” Mr. Crane said as the dwarf dropped into a long slew of curses having injured his thumb and nearly falling off the mast.

“It still has plenty of life in ‘er, It just needs ta be coaxed… this piece is elven made, it’d cost a fortune to try and get one ‘ere. We need ta make it work until we can get ta the Court… or at least maybe Don-Ton”

“You want to sail to Don-Ton without a mast winch? You begging Kelezandri to sink us?” Mr. Crane accused. Thitmed glared at him but looked at the broken piece in his hand and back down to Belinda and Mandy on the deck.

“Lindy, ask around in town if there is anyone who understands elvish ships or mechanics, maybe we will luck out… if not Leslie you and I are up here tomorrow and by Aurora’s Furry Pits we’ll make the Drokk of a thing work” he tossed the piece down Mandy while he turned to climb down the mast. Mandy caught it easy and looked at the odd elven machine. She looked back up to Thitmed tucking the piece under her arm, and then she felt a tingle. He looked down and saw the piece touching her new apron, the world around her seemed to glow a yellow and red hue. She held the piece in her hand and saw it begin to glow a dull golden yellow. Before she watched as the yellow piece disassembled itself into all its base pieces, spin slowly and reassemble itself. She watched it do this several times before at last it stopped and she looked up

“I said, are you ok Mandy?” Mandy blinked a few times, Belinda had a hand on her shoulder Mr. Crane and Mr. Ironbraid were now beside her looking at her with concern. She nodded once and a grin came to her face as she worked up the courage to speak.

“Mr. Ironbraid, Ms. Featherfoot… I think I can fix this” she held up the broken pulley-winch. They gave her a long appraising look.

“Aye Lass, it don’t look all that hard I know, but there are a few parts on this ship that are special, that require an elven smith or a master shipwright to repair, and that thar is one o them” Thitmeds voice was soft as he explained. Mandy took no offense and nodded to him

“I know, but I just, I just kinda saw it… I know how it was put together… I know all kinds of things, like the fact that you can’t mix the gold for the inlay here unless you do it by moonlight, or the fact that these pieces are two different metals even though they look like the same… I don’t know how I know, but I know… the apron kinda told me… I can do this” she looked at Thitmed, Leslie and Belinda each in turn. It was Belinda who spoke first

“Let her try Thitmed, if it doesn’t work I will pay for the wasted materials out of my share, so we have nothing to lose” the dwarf’s looked softened a bit.

“Alright, she can try, but I am not putting a new piece on unless it passes the Captain’s muster, made by Mandy or No” to this there was a series of nods. Mandy smiled, she just hoped she would be able to live up to the new expectations she’d set for herself.


28th of Patchwall, 381 ONT, Amberdale, Kenzrenad, 7:45am, The Battle of the Burn

Harold “Prancer” Forbes Stepped out of the trench swinging his longsword in an artistic arc before stabbing neatly in the chest of his enemy, he knew his dance well and went to the go to method of calming his nerves. With each delicate movement he listed a member his family tree. He saw an enemy approach with a spear and brought his sword up to parry

“Harold Forbes, Brother of Gregory Forbes…” he twisted his wrist causing the enemy to drop his spear and thrusted “son of Caleb Forbes, married to Sara Forbes” he pulled the sword out flicking the blood from it as he dashed forward with a series of quick thrusts designed to drive two attackers back and give the spearmen time to retreat “She was the daughter of Andrew and Moore, oldest son of Lukus Moore… AHHHH” he grunted as he took a nasty cut to his left arm, he hopped forward with a quick series of strikes before disarming the one foe, a quick redirect allowed him to stab the other in the leg “Lukus Moore was son of Anton Moore, known as Anton the brave to some, or Anton wielder of the sword of Gareth” He dropped to one knee throwing a hand out wide and dramatically as he stabbed forward slicing into the stomach of his attacker his hand had batted away the lazy spear thrust from the other assailant and he turned standing and offering a clean sweeping strike to behead the injured foe “Anton’s Father was Hugh Moore, he was the one who found the sword of Gareth and presented it to Paloma Moore, his wife as a show of worthiness”. He looked about seeing he was the only one left in the trench and began to fall back to the town. He was half way there when three riders reigned in and pulled swords. The blade spun easily in his hand as he set his stance wide, testing them with a small dance forward and back again “You see Paloma Moore, was the Daughter of Brennan Keeton, heir to the house of Keeton after his old brother Declan had been killed in the orc uprising of 221ONT, many an orc paid the price of that death with blood, I will tell you” as he spoke he danced and whirled blocking blades and flicking his out, mostly he was riling the horses making it too hard for them to stay mounted and attack him, finally the three dismounted and fanned into a triangle.


The roadway caved in, he would not be entering town this way. The men approached menacingly but Harold continued “you don’t seem to get it, Declan was the son of Ethan Keeton, who married the elven princess Amlaruil. Her father bestowed the Helm of Honour to Ethan after he had saved an elven caravan including his daughter from nine angry frost giants. He quickly danced towards one of the three forcing him to stagger back, turning on a dime he spun around pulling a dagger and throwing at another of his attackers killing him. That left him with two. Two more attackers departed the city joining the crowd, bringing it up to four. Harold gritted his teeth. A silver arrow streaked down killing one of his original three, bringing the total back down to three. Harold shrugged and rolled the blade in his hand, lamenting that it was not a rapier, the proper weapon for a man of civility. He dashed towards one of the new attackers with a flurry of jabs and strikes “Ethan was the only son of Brenna Keeton the first, who was the second son of Camdon Keeton, who famously negotiated the peace between Cainia and Ahonem, a peace that still stands to this day.” He blocked a blow leaning low and scooped up some sand throwing it back into the face of one of his rushing attackers, he ducked a sideswipe reversing the grip on his blade killing the other man who had rushed him. The two staggered back as he breathed heavy sucking in air and coughing from the dust and smoke. He eyed the other two who seemed near as tired as he, he stood a little straighter feinted and the man ahead and then turned bringing the weight if his attacks down on the other man who was still clawing at his eyes to remove the sand. “Camdon’s father was Noah Keeton, married to Isabel the lovely, a former priestess of Aleau who had fallen in love with a knight, Sir Camdon Keeton had traveled all the way to Rehume and stood in the high temple of Aleau, some say he spoke with the Goddess herself to free his love from her vows that she would take no husband. The goddess agreed seeing the strength of their love and they were married” the sand eyed man was dead but it had cost him a sword thrust in the back of his calf wild he dropped to one knee swinging the sword out wildly to gain some space. “Noah was the Jaylen Keeton prince of Cainia” he threw himself forward plunging his word into his attacker even while taking another hit in the ribs, he twisted his blade “Jaylen’s father was Liam Keeton… Oldest son of Arthur Keeton, First King of Cainia, hero of the Great War, Hero of the Runes Wars, Liberator of High Port and Former Knight of Tukin!” he yelled the last part as he rammed home his blade killing his final foe. That done he slumped back into the ground. He looked up into the sky breath coming raggedly, then he saw the little orange fireballs arc towards the town and closed his eyes “I’m sorry father… I have failed you” he whispered as the fire began to rain down over Amberdale.

Check your pulse

I felt a helpless desperation as I watched Hiro ride for help. Now I had to see if anyone else survived. Looking at the inferno where I’d last seen Flit and Aurellia it didn’t seem possible. I stroked Elthorns beak as she perched beside me.
“I know you’re tired and hurt, but we aren’t finished. Our friends may be lying injured dying even as we speak. I need you to scour the field look for even the smallest movement. If it’s the enemy they can wait. We will find the survivors of Amberdale first. I’m going to see if the is anyway back into town. There may be people trapped.”
Ethoron took to the sky, I could tell from here that there would be no going back the way I’d come so I began picking my way carefully around the raging inferno. Please Sylvanus let there be survivors.

When It Rains, It Pours Pt 1

28th of Patchwall, 381 ONT, Kezrenad Strait, 8:14am, 24 kilometers from Harbinger

Thitmed let out a long low whistle with a happy smile; he waved the Strix down as the large ship had noted their flags and was changing course to dock with them. The OHCS Roebuck looked to be a formidable vessel, at least twice the size of the Champions Boot, with iron sides and an array of cannons, if they could be bought they’d be a formidable ally. Thitmed didn’t recoginise the prefix, but with so many ships hitting the trade lanes these days that wasn’t unusual

As the two ships pulled alongside each other a ladder was dropped from the much higher deck of the Roebuck, a voice sounded off the side

“Two may board” Thitmed shrugged and approached the ladder turning back to his crew

“Leslie, the Boot is yers till I get back, Lindy, yer with me” there was a nod around the ship as Leslie moved from the Bow up on to the Stern Deck to take command. Thitmed climbed the ladder and crawled onto the deck of the Roebuck, turning and helping Lindy up. Thitmed’s breath was stolen as he regarded the ship… she was beautiful, strong clean lines, a uniformed crew, and she sparkled, she must have been recently launched. Her gunner crews stood at their posts the very image of discipline while no less than three sailors scrubbed at the deck in various locations. Thitmed glanced at Lindy to be sure she was seeing all of this she nodded and the two looked forward as a group approached them.

The one that stood out most was a large Grey Minotaur, he wore a blue officer’s coat trimmed in silver and a large try corner hat. His belt held a pistol in it and a great scimitar. To his right stood a much shorter blue skinned Undine, he wore a similar uniform to the captain but held not pistol, his scimitar was traded for a rapier as well. At last there was a darker skinned human wearing yellow robes and a matching turban, he had a neatly trimmed goatee and mustache. He held no weapons but his hands were adorned with many large baubled rings. His neck also showed a heavy golden chain nearly as thick as Thitmed’s thumb. Unconsciously Thitmed rubbed his grubby hand on his pants, wishing the Captain were here for such a meeting.

“G’day to ya, I’m Thitmed Ironbraid, First Mate of the Champions Boot, down yonder” he was nervous, and regretted pointed, as if they would not know to which boat he was referring. “This here be Belinda Featherfoot, Ships Quartermaster”. The Minotaur let out a large grin and stepped forward, he had a tranquil way about him that put everyone at ease

“Glad to meet you Mr. Ironbraid, Ms. Featherfoot…” he stepped forward and shook hand with each as he spoke “My name is Captain Joval Kinnotox, this here is my First Mate Khov Rodak” he gestured to the Undine who kindly stepped forward to shake hands. “and of course our benefactor representative Arjun Vihaan” he said ushering to the yellow robed man. Arjun did not shake hands but put his hands together smiling and offering a small bow of his head to each of the guests. “You raised a flag of distress Mr. Ironbraid, how can the Roebuck be of service to you?” the Captain finished

“Aye, and thank ya for stopping,” Thitmed began “We are on a mission of morality at the moment, and have been trying to rescue goodly people from certain death, my ship has neither the man power nor the capacity to move the people or defend them, begging your pardon Captain, but I am asking for whatever help you might be willing to offer.” The Captain’s face darkened as he heard the tiding and he looked to his first mate before replying

“I am not sure how much assistance I can offer you Mr. Ironbraid, while I applaud your morality, especially in a time were civility and decency seem to be on the decline, I am afraid I am on a mission of high import myself, we are hunting vile pirates and thieves, the longer I tally the longer lead they can get, you understand?”

“Please… Captain Kinnotox, we need your help, surely saving hundreds of people is more important than catching a few pirates?” Belinda pleaded.

“Aye, and we could pay for your time, I have good silver that I’d be willing to part with to compensate yer crew for its time” Thitmed added. The Captain gave them a sad smile

“It is not a matter of coin Mr. Ironbraid, Normally I would agree with you, but this ship was commissioned by the Omar Trading Company to hunt and sink Pirate Ships that cause these waters to be so dangerous, I don’t have the freedom to divert course no matter how good the cause…”

“Perhaps there is another solution…” Arjunn Vihaan interrupted “Pirates are the mission Captain Kinnotox, but I have other objectives in this region, and hearts and minds is indeed one of them, with the offer of silver and aiding the locals, perhaps this would be an equitable situation…” Arjunn continued at the Cpatian turned to hear him out. That was lucky, Thitmed was sure he was white as a ghost as he realised what ship he stood on, it took all his concentration to keep his face neutral. Finally he snapped out of it realising the Captain was talking to him

“Well that settles it then, have your ship lead the way Mr. Ironbraid, we can divert and give you a few days, this will be a good opportunity to test our crew before we bring them to bare against hardened pirates”

Thitmed swallowed hard before nodding and replying

“Al’right… Thank ya…come on Lindy, we got’s no time to waste” almost like a robot he nodded stiffly to the Captain and Crew and turned and clambered down the ladder trying to figure out what he was going to do next.

Battle of the Burn Pt 2

28th of Patchwall, 381 ONT, Amberdale, Kenzrenad, 7:39am, The Battle of the Burn

Loann Rogard watched from the trench as Hiro walked across the great field to taunt the wretched Count Aderal. He worked hard to steady his breathing. He’d been in many a tight scrap before. Growing up in Pirates Swoop who hadn’t? but this was different, he wasn’t on a ship, and this wasn’t a barroom brawl or a heist, it was a flat out open combat in a field, the kind of things that Knights and Pikemen did, not scoundrels and sailors. He heard a shout from yonder

“KILL HIM, KILL THEM ALL” followed by the clicks of crossbows and the thundering of hooves.

“Steady” he urged to the miners beside them, the huddled in the trench holding their spears, they were nervous, and had every right to be. Loann had opted to keep his scimitar as opposed to switch to the spear. It seemed more comfortable, and his time on the Boot had given his voice an easy loud timber that let him be heard over the coming thunder of death. “Ready Spears” he called and watched as the miners set their spears properly, he looked down the trench and could see Digger doing much the same, Thalion and Flit were on the end prepping themselves. He grimaced in satisfaction, they were good sailors those two, and calm before the fight, if he lived he’d be sure that Thitmed heard about it. Hiro slid down the trench and scambled up the other side continuing his run, already they could hear the screaming of horses as some of the traps had been sprung.

“FIRE” someone yelled from behind. A flurry of crossbow bolts raced from behind and shot over the trench slamming into the coming onslaught. Loann loosened and tightened the grip on his scimitar.

“NOW!” Digger yelled

“NOW” He echoed immediately, the spears came up and they descended into hell.

The first moments of battle were lost to Loann, he had no idea what happened after the first horses hit the spears. But now he was in the trench scimitar spinning fending off three brigands. His consciousness caught up to his body as he heard himself screaming at the few nearby spearmen

“FALLBACK! FALlBACK TO THE DROKKING TOWN” he turned narrowly avoiding a sword and skewered a brigand, he kept the momentum in the spin reaching out and grabbing one of the gnomish minners, he shook the fellow and screamed in his face “FALL THE DROKK BACK!” the miner nodded and pulled away.


“AHHHHHHGGGHHHH!!!!” Loann let out a primal scream as a sword had slashed down removing his outstretched hand. He turned shooting out an elbow into his attacker’s face then reversing grip on his sword and killing the man. The other two in the ditch approached, one moving to get the poor miner who was scrambling up the back end of the ditch. Loann jumped in the way kicking the attacker and swinging his sword wildly to buy space. It worked and both squared off with him. It was getting hard to stand as he watched blood freely poor from the stump of his left arm. He heard more thundering and saw a horse coming over the ditch to ride him down. Instinct took over and he spun slashing the horse and stepping in close to one of his attackers, the mounted prick either didn’t see his ally or didn’t care as he lanced out with his spear even as he was dying, the spear went through the bandit and deeply into Loanns leg. Then the horse gave out collapsing into the ditch rider and all, on top of Loann, the bandits and anyone else who had fallen.

The trench had become a mass grave.

To Be Continued

Battle of the Burn Pt 3
Post rated R: has mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised

28th of Patchwall, 381 ONT, Amberdale, Kenzrenad, 7:43am, The Battle of the Burn

Dewey English stood with the crossbowmen on their line. He held a heavy crossbow and shuttered to think he would have to use one again. During the Goblin wars, his daddy had ridden with the old king, still that night haunted him when the goblins had broken into the town and attacked his Ma and sister, he had grabbed the crossbow and done what he needed to do, but the bolt had killed the creature and his sister… he hadn’t ever wanted to fire a weapon again. Now here he was, twenty seven years later hefting the weapon he hated most. He had apparently had the most skill with the weapon, Digger had called him “a Natural” during training. So now he was leading a small squadron holding the death machines that had stolen Katlyn’s life. He gazed ahead and watched in horror at the sheer amount of horses that road over the ridge and into the valley after Subaru. He waved to his “men”, children and women mostly, to load their bows, they did with practiced skill, Digger had been relentless over the last six days and most could now load a crossbow with their eyes closed. The horses rampaged with masters of death astride, hurtling towards carnage. When they were about two hundred feet away he raised his weapon and sighted in a rider, he noted in his peripheral that the others did the same. He didn’t call any commands he just squeezed the trigger and let his squad do the same as they were ready, rushing wasn’t going to help matters. His heart lurched as a rider fell from his horse but he quickly looked down and focused on reloading. Digger had been clear on that, ‘FIRE, RELOAD then run… do not run until you a ready to shoot’. So he diligently reloaded his weapon and looked to see if his team had done the same, when the finished up he waved his arm, they wanted to run he didn’t need to encourage them as they quickly ran past the musketeers and sighted again. He shot twice more until he heard the bang from the musket line and saw them break

“ONE MORE!” he called to his team and loaded another quarrel, he sighted a horsemen charging for Ms. Aurelia and fired, he didn’t kill him, but had caused the horse to veer. He reloaded… had to remember that you weren’t allowed to run until you reloaded; he looked to his line, they had already scattered towards the town. He finished his task and started running to, holding his weapon tightly as he ran towards the Hooper house; that was his next waypoint. He was two thirds of the way there when he saw Addie. She was bleeding badly, lying in the dirt to the left side of the road, it looked like a musket ball had taken out her calf and she seemed to be crawling towards her waypoint. He bent to helped her up.

“RUN DEWEY, THEY”RE COMING!” she gurgled, she must have been hit somewhere else two as blood escaped with her words. Dewey turned, he could see some scattered spearmen running along with the last of the Sailors and a host of horsemen hot on their heels, he looked to the Hooper House, and knew that there was no way he was going to make it there. He hefted his bow and shot at an oncoming horsemen then slung the weapon and grabbed Addie under her arms. He wasn’t a big man, and hadn’t the strength to properly carry her so he dragged her towards one of the nearby houses. “What are you doing Dewey, these are rigged to blow!” Addie nagged, he recalled why several people in town referred to her a Nan.

“That’s another three houses down, I think we’ll be ok in here” he said softly as he opened the door and dragged her in. It was Fred’s old house, a nice two bedroom place with a shared kitchen and common room in the front. Dewey pulled Addie to the back room and placed her on the bed before running forward and closing the door, as an afterthought he locked it. Then remembering Digger’s training he stopped and reloaded his crossbow. Once that was completed he placed his loaded crossbow on the small kitchen table outside the room and entered to look at Addie. She was white as a ghost and fumbling with her Blunderbuss trying to load it.

“Put that down Addie, and let me take a look at you” she fought and refused until he assured her that the weapon was ready to fire, he placed it beside her bed and started at the leg, but things were worse than that, she’d be shot by an ally not an enemy, there were pellets all through her midsection and down her right leg, the limp was the least of her worries. Dewy didn’t know much first aid but he ripped apart the sheets on the bed and started bandaging as best he could.


That would be the collapse of the buildings, there was a little more musket fire and then things got quiet. Dewey focused on his task but quickly decided he needed water, and maybe some herbs, he raced from the room and entered the little kitchen fumbling around in the cupboards trying to remember what herbs, if any, helped gunshot wounds.



Please Listen While Reading

The door burst open, and in HE staggered. The man was tall and well built, covered in dust from head to toe. His clothes had little blood nor tears in them, but did show some signs of recent battle, his hair line was receding but what hair that was still their held the black of its youth. The Man had dark eyes mixed with his pointed nose it gave him a hawkish look; his face with spattered with a salt and pepper scruff and his lips held a smile that did not reach his eyes. Dewey looked over to the table maybe three steps away that held the Crossbow, the man just smiled and nodded to his left hand that held a pistol in it. Dewey let out a sigh and raised his hands.

“Ya’ Hidin’ Boy?” the man said taking the moment to enter the room and push the door closed with his foot. It took all Dewey had not to look over towards the open bedroom door he didn’t trust himself to speak so he just nodded “So thar be at least one clever fella in this po-dung town… HER HA!” his laugh at the end seemed forced and though that smile held their seemed to be seething menace emanating from the creature of a man. The fellow stepped into the room further and approached the table, keeping his eyes on Dewey all the while. “Name’s No-Fluke Bradley…” he said as his right hand pulled an oversized knife from his belt and cut the string of the crossbow “What’s yer name… boy?”

Dewey swallowed and took a tentative step forward. He was halted by No-Fluke making a tsk tsk noise and rattling his pistol

“umm.. Dewey… Dewey English” he stammered

“Ha… Dewey English, don’t reckon I ever heard a more sly name if all my years… folks must of hated you from the start” Dewey said nothing to this not knowing how to reply, he watched as the man put down his knife and picked up his water skin and moved to drink.. Dewey knew it was now or never and rushed forward to tackle the brute. No-Fluke lived up to his name easily side stepping the clumsy attempt and smashing Dewey in the nose with the butt of his pistol. Dewey staggered back a step or two as No-Fluke punched him in the stomach allowing Dewey to slump to the ground wheezing. “Now that was just genuinely unfriendly Dewey” the brute said as he kicked the smaller man in the ribs once more before returning to his water skin. “Now, I’m not gonna lie to ya Dewey, I would have honestly preferred if you was a women, but I have been in the saddle for some time now, and this battle has got be all stirred up… since you and I need to while away the time until the Count has the rest of yer ilk rounded up… well I do believe we should get better acquainted” as he said the final words he grabbed Dewey by the scruff of the neck and bent him over the kitchen table. Dewey began to turn and struggle to try and kick, but quickly felt the pistol to the back of his head, tears began to well up in his eyes as he heard the man speak again “Now I don’t mind some fight, that makes it all the more fun, but you best keep them legs spread and yer boots on the ground, else this is gonna be a hell of a lot messier” Dewey didn’t move, he stared as the table in front of him as he felt the man’s knife cut through the belt at the small of his back. He felt the cold iron of the pistol muzzle pushing against the back of his head. In his mind he told himself to wriggle, to fight or dive or move or bite him, but he faced the facts, he couldn’t, he was too scared to move. The knife finished its job and Dewey heard the rustle of a buckle and saw a grubby dirty hand reach around him and take a handful of butter before retreating behind him once more. Dewey sniffled and let out a whimper as a greasy hand touched his hip and drop his pants. Dewey bit his lip hard, so hard it began to bleed. “Now remember Dewey, the more ya clench the more I’m a gonna enjoy it, so feel free to do as you need”


“and you feel free to Die Asshole!” Both men looked up and saw a ghostly Addie leaning in the door frame of the bedroom; her Blunderbuss was loaded and pointed at No-Fluke. No-Fluke pulled Dewey into a standing position hunching behind his victim.

“HOO-WEE! You were holdin’ out on me Dewey, look at that pretty little thing, death becomes her” No-Fluke cackled at his terrible joke

“You Sick Drokk! You’re gonna die slow” Addie said her voice was weak but her will was iron.

“Oh, come on now girly, you ain’t gonna do that… ya see yer hold’in a Blunderbuss, that thing has a good old spray, that will mangle me something fierce, but yer dear boy here, he gonna look a lot worse taking that in the face… how bout you lower the weapon and we figure something on out” If No-Fluke was nervous he wasn’t showing it, he genuinely seemed to be having a good time. Dewey looked at Addie, she was dripping blood and looked like she might fall any minute, all No-Fluke had to do was stall, he looked her hard in the eye and nodded

“fine with me” Addie said pulling the trigger


Hikaru's Long Ride

Hikaru felt drained as he rode the horse at a trot in the direction of Harbinger. The smoking wreckage of Amberdale lay behind him as did the majority of its citizens and those who came to liberate them. They’d done all they could to prepare and train the townsfolk but these were not warriors, they were simple folk who were unlucky enough to live in the path of an ambitious and cruel lord. They’d fought for their freedom and paid a terrible and bloody price for it. Hikaru had seen no survivors and feared that none had.

This was no simulation or skirmish like those he’d faced back at the academy but true and bloody war. It was the first time Hikaru had been in an actual battle of this magnitude and the results sickened him. They had broken the Count’s men and destroyed the bastard in the process but this was no victory. Both sides were decimated and none could live in the smouldering shell that had been Amberdale. Oh the king of this place would send men and families for the mine was still nearby but what of Addie and her family? What of the youngsters that believed in this small band of sailors to save them? Dead and all because Hikaru thought he could win, how could he not with the captain’s support?

But the captain was missing and probably dead along with poor Mandy buried under the burning wreckage miles inland from his beloved boat. Loann too seemed to have perished and Ungle foolishly went to recruit the goblins. Not that his presence would have made a difference. Hikaru had been a fool not to scout the enemy and gain a measure of what and who he was going to fight. It had been the mortars, the deadly alchemical bombs that swung the pendulum away from victory. If only… but he could not rewrite the past for these people anymore than he could do the same of his own.

So Hikaru rode alone towards Harbinger, a messenger of failure and death. He did not expect a warm welcome and only hoped they would let him gather his things and come back to help cleanup before they kicked him from the Champion’s Boot for failing to keep the captain of any of them safe. It was only by the grace of Ymeri and her blessing that he had survived and he prayed his offering of the Count would balance his failure in some small way. He’d paid dearly for the sin of pride and fallen to the sin of wrath at the end. Looking back though he could find no fault with his motives and his need to protect those who were preyed upon only his inability to keep them safe.

So he would have to become stronger. No, not just stronger, but resolute and unerring like the arrows he used. He would accept the failure as his and embrace the chance to learn from it. He would become the wrath of the weak, the flame of vengeance if he could not save them and the fire that kept them safe in the darkest times. Hikaru prayed reverently to Ymeri to find him worthy and to bolster his heart against what he would need do to root out the corruption and burn it away in a righteous fire. Hikaru would not let Amberdale happen again.

(Posted on the plane in Calgary before the next leg. Sorry for any errors)

The Battle of the Burn Pt. 1

28th of Patchwall, 381 ONT, Amberdale, Kenzrenad, 7:41am, The Battle of the Burn

“Anamachara’s icy wrath will protect you, Hansel’s wisdom will guide you, Aleau is charming and kind, following her wake, you can always look up to Prometheus for guidance and love. This is how we know the Brackish Emperor loves us, because his children care for us so… this is how we know the Brackish Emperor loves us, because his children case for us so…” Mandy Doyle found herself repeating the words of the nursery prayer over and over, it had been taught to her during her time in the orphanage and now was like a mantra. The dust cloud from the exploding building masked all but Mr. Subaru and she could hear little aside from the screams of horses and men and the steady shots of muskets. Mandy repeated the prayer one more time before she managed to work up the courage to go… she knew she couldn’t stay where she was, but she did not want to leave.

Off like a rocket she ran into the thick smoke and dust tripping and scrambling as she tried to see through the grey haze. She stopped seeing a large man with a sword, the man turned to swing at her but Oscar chain slammed into him first and the two struggled and were lost in the cloud. She kept running feeling more than seeing a horse run past. The sounds of muskets went off again and she felt the ground shudder knowing she had nearly been hit. And then it was clear and she could see again as she came careening out of the dust cloud. Ahead of her beside the town alter stood Ser Thalion and Mr. Fargazer. Her little legs didn’t stop as she ran towards them. She felt a little better seeing two of her crewmen alive, well and where they were supposed to be. She was halfway to them when a horse raced past her, its rider hefted a spear and impaled Mr. Fargazer pinning him to the ground. She stopped the horror in front of her sutting down her legs. Her crewmates mouth gasped for air and blood burbled from it. He moaned in pain as he weakly began to slump against the weight of the spear. The horsemen wheel for a second pass.

“MANDY GET OUT OF THERE!” a voice snapped her out of it, she looked around seeing Aurelia had called and was climbing down a rope from the Lonely Blossom Saloon. She saw Ser Thalion raise her shield to meet the foe and shook her head and began to run once more, her little legs propelling her towards the old Town Hall and the perch on top where the Captain was. She could hear hooves thunder, muskets and crossbows fire but she didn’t look back… no matter what happened she knew in her heart of hearts that poor Mr. Fargazer was dead. She made it to the town hall and entered the burnt out husk of a building. Finding the rope ladder where she’d left it. Quickly she scrambled up the ladder to the tower on the third floor and pulled it up behind her.

“Captain… they killed MR. Fargazer!” she cried… she didn’t want it to sound like the squeak and sob that it did but she couldn’t help it. The Captain seemed to pay her no heed as he continued to reach for arrows and shoot out through the dust cloud and into the fray. She looked back down into the street ahead and saw Ser Thalion dispatch the horsemen. The from behind a building she saw Mr. Suberu riding away to the north. Her heart broke as she saw her proud friend flee from combat. She could not blame him, the odds seemed hopeless but somehow she had not thought that any members of her crewmates would be the ones to flee. She watched as the Captain turned and noted Mr. Subaru’s retreat, the captain fired off three arrows, striking down enemy horsemen who were moving to intercept the Fire Nation rider. She nodded, it was good that at least one of them would live to tell the tale.

“Imperious Faex” the Captian swore (Oh Shit) and in a blinding motion he turned to Mandy dropping his bow and taking her by the shoulders he whispered some words to her “mea est prudentia tua” she felt the power of ancient elvish magic leave his body and race into hers, she felt strong and agile where she had not before. (my skill is yours). Mandy looked up, she could hear and odd screeching noise and now saw the first red streak smash into the general store, causing it to explode in flames and debris. She quickly looked up and saw one of those red streaks coming right for their position. She looked at the Captain who smiled at her and gave her the smallest of grins “Fly little Jack, Fly” with that he hefted her up and threw her off the side of the building just as the red screecher slammed into the wall beside the Captain.



Mandy was soaring through the air, it was amazing, had the Captain somehow given her the power of flight? She opened her arms to gain altitude…. It was not working, the ground began to race towards her, she was most certainly falling. She felt the heat lash out from behind her and felt debris fling past her at every angle. She tensed and closed her eyes awaiting the imminent impact of the ground below

to be continued


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