T-KoL Turn 4 (Evening) REPORT
“I care not!” declared Kenny the fighter rising to his feet, “wherever or not the cleric has gone, I am off to Rosebank Meadows and then on to Grant's Gibbet to avenge the death of my sister!”
“Steady friend!” Secundus the mage lightly held the fighter’s sleeve, “Your bravery does you credit, but I fear it is ill timed. Even if no other beasts ambush you in Rosebank Meadows (and if they do, you may not get to Grants Gibbet at all) you will be attacking Esmeralda's killers when they are at their strongest. Revenge is a dish best served in daylight. Besides which," he added, “my scrying powers predict we will be joined by at least one more hero ere the coming of dawn!”
Kenny sat down.
A mournful howl echoed around the crumbling walls of Edradour as something lean and wolfish lurked in the lengthening shadows. Its eyes glowing with baleful fire the shape stepped from the dark shade into the red light of sunset. The steel blade of the battleaxe caught crimson in the flames of the dying sun. The wolf pack was gathering and was yet still unaware of this intruder’s presence. Onan the Barbarian threw back his tousled head and howled. The wolves turned, their savage teeth bared, their hackles high. Their heads low and threatening they advanced to meet his challenge. With his shimmering axe swirling above his head and long-knife drawn Onan pitched wild and headlong into their howling mass. Teeth and naked blade flashed savagely in the twilight, piercing the restless air with agonized screams and splashing the dead stones with scarlet. Until at last, wild-eyed and bloody the barbarian stood triumphant amidst the blade-torn corpses of his foes. He laughed, for his mirth was great. Then turning his blade over in his hand he knelt and began skinning the dead wolves, for their pelts would be worth a gold piece to anyone.
Strepos the Ranger breathed low. His eyes flitted as he judged his domain. “I shall stand and fight the foul bats,” he muttered under his breath, “and be roasting boar for my tea!”
He listened. The boar was silent. He crept forwards. Still he heard nothing of the wild pig but the screaming of the blood bats was rising as their black pall stained the crimson sky. Like summer lightning arrows flashed from quiver to string as the ranger’s bow sang its sweet sarabande of death, sending shaft after shaft whistling into the swirling mass of blood-hungry bats. They fell and screeched no more.
An unearthly glow spread from Bash the Cleric’s outstretched palm. “Be gone foul hounds of chaos!” he commanded as a bolt of brilliant light rushed forward, liming the wolf pack and illuminating the Linkwood Forest road in golden light. The Holy glimmer faded and the trees regained their gloom. Undeterred the wolves pressed on, their jaws slavering, their tongues lolling hungrily. Bash raised his tough, wooden staff, spinning it high above his bald head as the wolves circled, probing his defence for weakness. Cunningly he tempted them with gaps in his guard, to swiftly strike out, smashing down hard with skull-splitting strength only to see his target turn and twist clear of his blow. On the dance continued, no side gaining or giving advantage until, as the shadows deepened, Bash began to wonder whether the wolves had truly met their match or whether they were only biding their time, awaiting the heinous reign of night.
T-KoL Turn 5 (NIGHT) RETURN
“Come to me my lovelies!” commanded Cobra the cutthroat, his hand outstretched, his fingers playing the dark chords of the night wind. The blood bats gathered, swirling around his head, screeching hungrily. “See,” sneered Cobra to the keeper of the Black Bottle Inn, “how the night’s dark children do my bidding?”
The innkeeper, his voice fear-frozen in his throat, nodded.
“Obey!” ordered the cutthroat, “before I give my pets consent to feed!”
The gibbous moon grinned like a cloven skull for even the moon is not without irony. Sirrus the cutthroat chuckled silently to himself and eyed with unabashed avarice the bloody wolf-pelts Onan the Barbarian had thrown across his broad, muscular back.
“Before dawn,” he vowed, “those furs will be mine and that barbarian will be fit only to feed the crows!”
Strepos sighed and still watchful for the murderous boar he crept forward and retrieved his arrows. Then he casually watched the shadows lengthen until suddenly his flesh crawled, for he realised that the black, twisted stain he had watched extending across the road was no lifeless shade but the dark form of a large and venomous snake, winding malevolently towards him. His ears pricked and he turned to see rising from some concealed cavern what was no ill-formed memory or trick of the mind but a fresh and ravenous swarm of blood bats climbing on their dark, gelid wings across the purpling sky to usurp the night.
The villagers of Glen Mhor fled screaming, for out of night had slithered a hungry serpent, greedy to crush the life from their sleeping bairns.
Tia Maria the barmaid staggered into the Cragganmore Inn and breathlessly bolted the door behind her. Her clothes were torn, ripped by the brambles she had forced herself through in her panicked flight.
“Quick!” she gasped, “there are goblins everywhere!”
“We know,” said the innkeeper solemnly, his head hung, “they have taken the town.”
A group of drinkers by the bar turned and lowered their hoods showing their sharp yellow eyes and grinning faces of vile, green flesh.
“She will do nicely,” hissed their leader, “Seize her!”
Before she could scream her soft white limbs were cruelly grasped by clawing hands and the barroom swirled as she collapsed helpless into their fiendish clutches, defenceless against their inhuman desires.