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Greenmntman

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About Greenmntman

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    Apprentice

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    Moon of Endor
  • Occupation
    Guarding The Wall

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  1. Greenmntman

    The Fates that Bind

    Ira lined up one last shot, and blew a hole through the last corpse he could find at a range of about 15 yards. He wasn't the best pistol shot in the world, but it was an accurate weapon and at this range, the dead figure might as well be a barn door. Ira remembered being trained with a pistol long after he had left his home of Lydon, and knew he would have gotten a swift kick in the ass if he assumed that was the last of them. Instead he reloaded the gun, brought it up just below eye level and start walking around the town. The barrier was still in tact, which was a relief. He caught up with Aidan who looked like he was dripping in sweat - knifing ghouls to a second death was a great deal more work than shooting them. Eventually he concluded that their probably wasn't anything else threatening inside the barrier, only at that point did he relax, lower the gun and open up his sack. To his surprise he even thought that he was starting to sober up. As it expanded Aidan walked over to him and said, "Make sure you get me one as well." Ira was glad he had the same idea. And eventually found the box of cigars he had picked up some quite a while back, and a pack of matches to light them with. He grabbed one and handed it to Aidan who lit it and took a long drag blowing out a long trail of white smoke. Ira's took two matches, but eventually he got it lit and bit down slightly as he bent over and closed the sack while taking the box out. He walked over to where Quinn and Julius were talking. He laughed as he saw Julius offer Quinn a cloth to help with the smell of twice rotting corpses strewn everywhere. Taking a long puff from his own, he offered Quinn the box of cigars, "You know, these might help with the odor as well". Ira took another long puff from his own and looked out at the bodies. "What are you guys doing after we deal with the rest of these bodies?"
  2. Greenmntman

    Invasion of Lydon

    Ira touched the pole at the bottom of the mountain. He was tired, everything hurt and he wanted to go to bed. That being said, he could feel the difference that two weeks of training had made. He remembered thinking to himself that first night, as he was trying to find his way down the trail after the sun went down, that he had thought he had been in good shape. His armor had fit well, it wasn't that heavy, he had thought there was no reason that he should have been that exhausted - but damn there was no air to breathe up there. The one thing that had consoled him during that first night was that nearly everyone else in his company had finished behind him, including Samuel, even if it had been by a matter of a few feet. 13 trips up the mountain later, his muscles had grown accustom to screaming out for more oxygen, and his lungs had adjusted accordingly. It was still a very tiring hike, but this time Ira had arrived to his tent before the sun was fully down. Samuel had volunteered to go gather more water from the stream and Ira was able to start dinner as Ted walked into his tent area. Ted had been elected Alpha squad leader, and was made sergeant. As such he was in charge of Samuel, Ira and seven others. There were ten squads, and from the squad leaders they elected Tonya to be responsible for the entire unit. Ted had no interest in that kind of responsibility, and had become fast friends with Ira over two weeks even if Samuel didn't enjoy his particular brand of company. A full four inches shorter than Ira, Josh was diminutive in height, but made up for it by being a physical freak. Young with short hair and biceps the size of barbells, Ted made both the brothers look bad just by standing next to them. The first day up the mountain Ted seemed to be enjoying it as Lieutenant Stewart yelled and prodded at them to run faster. Being more physically fit wasn't why Samuel didn't like him, but because they were opposites. Samuel still considered himself an intellectual who happened to be in the army, Ira doubted if Ted had ever picked up a book in his life. When Samuel and Ira had gone to bed after dinner was eaten and they were set for the day, he was known to be downing wine and beer halfway threw the night. They had spent the majority of the day practicing sword and axe fighting, sparing with each other using wooden shields and weapons. The wooden nature of them meant that they were drastically heavier than their real metal counterparts, even if multiple cuts and bruises on every member of the company proved that they still hurt to be hit with. Ira had been born to do this - having been hammering horseshoes in his fathers forge since he was 8, all he had to do was learn how to effectively keep his shield in front of him as he recoiled his axe, and then find a new target to smash. "Whats the good news Sir?" "I told you man, cut that shit out unless there is brass around. Especially after the day is done, I'm Ted until sunup at the very least. Anyway, just here to say that it sounds like that guy from Echo is going to be fine. Had a few stitches, and is going to feel it in the morning, but no real harm done. They had some new woman medic fix him up and read our old medic the riot act, before essentially chewing out and getting rid of the incompetent ass by herself." Ted took a long pull of wine as he turned to see Samuel arriving. Ira laughed to himself, he had a pretty good idea who Ted was talking about. Ted turned around one more time, "Oh, and I almost forgot, she's kind of hot, says ..." Ira laughed harder, "Yeah, I know her. She's a good medic, I'll go see her after we eat. Night Sir."
  3. Greenmntman

    Invasion of Lydon

    Ira and Ethan had finally made it to the front of the line, where they found themselves looking at a particularly grouchy officer who was having them sign more forms than they ever had previously seen in their life. “You realize scouts are responsible not just for scouting, but for raiding and attacking the enemy forces. That you will be expected to be proficient in hand to hand fighting, horseback riding, and archery. That you will live away from the military camps, and scavenge for food while moving dozens of miles in a single day. That what you are signing is an agreement to be in the scouts for 3 years, until the war is over, or until your death. And finally in all probability you will probably die cold, wet and alone somewhere far away from the rest of the military?” Samuel looked up from the paperwork as he signed his name on the last form. “You have one hell of a sales pitch buddy.” Ira finished momentarily afterwards, glaring at the warm reception “I’m not afraid of some blisters on my feet, and steel in my hands.” The man behind the table looked back at them and a slight grin slowly broke over his face. “As of right now, that is Sir to the two of you. Now follow the path behind me and get your asses to the square and fall in with the rest of your company that is about to be deployed.” He let out a slow growl as he lectured them, “It’s a mile up the path, and you should be the last two needed to start, so I’d get a move on if I were you. Welcome to the Army.” “Yes Sir!” the two of them quickly shot back and took off up the path at a jog. Ira noticed more fortifications and equipment as he ran past, but didn’t have time to study any of it like he did on the walk up the mountain. While the path was very well maintained and may have been easier to jog on, the legs of both brothers burned and the sweat poured off of them as they finally made it to a large square, and walked into what had to be a training area. There looked to be 3 different groups of men and women who were standing at attention – the fact that it was mixed genders surprised Ira for a moment. One of the groups had horses, and Ira thought he safely could rule them out. The second group had only about 20 people in it, and Ira remembered they would be the last to fill the company. Ira and Samuel finally arrived at their formation to make ten rows of ten people. As soon as they arrived in place, there was an officer who began to address the entire group. “My name is Lieutenant Stewart, and I am your drill instructor. You are going to be trained in record time – 3 weeks in what should take you 8. It is not going to be pleasant, but hopefully you will be able to survive the war to come. I am not going to be your friend, if you want one of those, look to each other. You will address me as ‘Sir’.” Talk about being thrown into the fire thought Ira, he guessed it made sense, that the enemy army wasn’t going to wait forever. His new lieutenant spoke for another 10 minutes – it turned out that Samuel and himself were now in the 17 scout’s battalion, 5th company 10th squad. They ended up jogging into a massive building that was located across the square, which turned out to be where they received their basic equipment. First off was the dark green uniform, sturdy leather running shoes, and a sack to carry everything in. Ira showed off his, and politely declined a new one from the officer distributing them, saying that he would carry his own. They were ushered down a hall where it was explained that every two people would be sharing a tent, and that one would carry the tent, and folding poles, the other person would be expected to carry several days’ worth of food and water as well as something to light a fire, and cook it in. When Lieutenant Stewart said this, Samuel playfully punched his brother and started to whisper in his ear, “We are going to have it easiest for sure with that magical sack of yours. Everyone else is going to be weighed down by 20 pounds of stuff and you will be able to carry as much as you want weighing light as a feather. I have a feeling we are going to be very popular.” Ira smiled as they ran into the next, massive room. It was full of provisions stocked in separate piles. Every two people were issued a bag of rice, a large can of beef, a large can of mixed vegetables, a hearty loaf of hard, black bread and a small tin of butter. At the end of room they were told that it should last them three days, and that as scouts they were expected to forge or raid for food if they were looking to eat more. Finally they were each assigned a leather canteen and a fire starter as they were being yelled at to move into the next room. Ira’s eyes lighted up, this was what he had been waiting for – weapons and armor. Along every wall lay a new section of longbows and quivers, all sorts of swords and hammers, large shields and small. As it was yelled out to remember that they would be running several miles each day with the equipment, Ira decided to pass over a giant two-handed broadsword. He saw most of the company grab a standard short sword and shield, but noticed that more than a few looked like experienced bowmen. Ira figured that wasn't for him, and in the end Ira decided on a fairly large round shield, and a light chest plate of armor. Ira thought that it wouldn’t stop a hammer to the chest, but it might stop an arrow, and certainly it would protect him from any cutting or stabbing blow. He found a thin metal greave for his left arm and a thin padded helmet that sat on his head more comfortably than he imagined it would. Finally he found an axe quite similar in size to the one he had carried from Genova, except the one supplied at the training camp seemed older, and better quality. Ira found two straps for his axe and shield, and quickly had them tied behind his back, so they rested comfortably on the armor. He felt ready, that someday during the next few weeks the instructors would make him run up and down the mountain and he would be able to do it without his equipment getting in the way. Samuel had decided to keep his one handed sword that he took from the barracks in Genova, but was dressed similarly in every other respect. Samuel looked his brother over, before commenting on his attire, “Still like that axe huh?” Well I think it’s starting to feel for real right about now”. Samuel swung his sword back and forth, as if testing to make sure it still worked. Ira nodded in agreement, before Lieutenant Stewart started yelling to get back on the square and into formation. Once they were back into rows and columns of ten, their new officer began to explain the rest of the day’s activities to the company. “I can guarantee that you will be outnumbered. I can guarantee that you are going to fight some soldiers who have better training than you. But I can also guarantee that you will be in better shape, the enemy will not know the terrain, and they will not be used to being at the high altitude.” He pointed to the groomed trail behind him that wound up the mountain like a rope hanging down a flight of stairs. “The path behind me brings you to a marker at the top of the mountain, where it rises another 4,000 feet over two and a half miles. You will touch the marker, before running back down to the pole at the start of the trail in front of you. Only then are you dismissed to break out your tents, find a spot in the woods to set them up and begin to have supper. And ladies and gentlemen, I would start moving in a hurry right about now, because the sun starts to go down in just over an hour.”
  4. Greenmntman

    Invasion of Lydon

    Ira noticed that Quinn struggled to finish the story of how she grew up. It was pretty horrific, as someone who grew up with three reliable, if bland meals a day, he couldn’t fathom going through it himself. As she got up quickly and walked off, Ira had an urge to cut off some heads. He quickly noticed that she wasn’t lying though, Captain Allan started ordering everyone to their feet and within a minute, everyone was starting across the swollen river that was nearly high enough to lap the bottom of the wooden bridge. As they got to the other side, Ira was expecting to find fortifications, or even a road but looking around he found nothing but more sandy river bank. Ira had roughly ten thousand questions running through his mind as the group started up the mountain. He noticed that while there were no trails, it seemed to be unusually sparse of trees and small vegetation and that Captain Allan and James seemed to know exactly where they were going. About 50 yards in, Captain Allan stopped, and shouted into the woods “Only dead men cross the Minthe River!” All of a sudden Lydon soldiers were appearing everywhere, swords drawn, and seemingly tensed up for a fight that clearly was not going to come. Ira was amazed at how they seemed to come from every side, arriving from under every fern and from on top of every tree. He felt stupid thinking about it – of course there were dozens of soldiers guarding the crossing into the Lydon camp. One of them was an officer and started hiking up with the group; Ira thought that him being a guide was a good bet. As they all trudged up the mountain, his calves and thighs were burning and sweat was starting to gather all over him. Ira was slightly annoyed because he had thought he was in good shape, but now was reasonably certain that all the soldiers were taking a leisurely pace due to the civilians in the crowd. A quarter of a mile up the mountain, the group came to a clearing in the woods and a line of wooden fortifications stood above it. Ira studied them, observing that they looked ancient, one layer built on top of the other for centuries. The first layer was obviously the oldest, solid green earthwork that was dug higher with the dirt from the trench in front of it. On top of that was a stonewall, with the guards feet being 6 feet higher than the top of the earthworks, and an additional wall rising up to chest height above it. Wooden boards were raised intermediately every few feet for archers to take cover behind. As Ira turned around to see down the hill he found the view far more incredible than the fortifications. What looked like a trail-less forest as he was walking upward became straight pathways and sightlines so he could see the very foot of the bridge he crossed, and of course who it was that crossed it. Samuel's eyes were wide like a child seeing his first candy store, looking around and trying to soak everything in. "By the gods" he said, "no wonder everyone is confident that these forts will never fall, twenty good archers could wipe out an entire army as it crosses the bridge." "It would be a suicide mission for sure, and unless you are going risk swimming across those rapids, I don't even see any army making it up this hill, never mind to the clearing before the fort." Ira agreed as he pointed out the stone archer towers he saw every few hundred feet behind the main wall. The two brothers turned rapidly yelling started, and they saw the main gate swing open. "Come on, I definitely don't want to be left out here". They ran up and found themselves last in the line of people waiting to enter the fortifications. Ira saw that a space had been carved in the earthworks so the earth and stone towered over everyone who approached the thick black iron door. Ira studied it as he walked past and entered a massive, narrow room with another iron door ahead, and slits through the stone above on either side where arrows could rain down on whoever dare enter. As he passed through the second door, he saw that there was a metal gate hanging above as a final barrier into the fortifications. Ira expected to find barracks and houses when he got through, but instead there were scores of catapults and trebuchets, all oiled to perfect condition sitting patiently next to barrels of pitch to light on fire and stones to throw. He understood now, the towers behind them were not for archers; they were to sight in the artillery. Eventually they went past stacks of swords and shields, hammers and arrows until they arrived at two long lines, each made up of dozens of civilians waiting to reach a series of tables. Captain Allan stood on a stump and yelled at the everyone who had come up the first part of the mountain with Ira’s group, “Those of you who are not in the military, the line on the left is for those who do not want to fight back the invaders. You will be escorted into the mainland and will be able to seek refuge there. The line on the right is for those who want to help our glorious army defeat the unwashed hoard that will be upon us soon. You will have the chance to serve in honor in any of the military branches: the infantry, the scouts, the cavalry, the artillery, engineers or medics.” And with that he stepped down and walked away. Ira saw James walk by him, as he did he turned to Ira and Samuel and said, “5th scout brigade, 1st division.” James even broke a smile as went by him, “Just saying” he grinned as he walked past. Ira turned his head to Samuel, who had a look on his face like he was contemplating a life or death choice. Samuel cocked his head slightly sideways and said, “Scouts?” Ira thought about it for half a second, “Well, catapults sound boring, I can’t ride a horse, I am lousy at building anything whatsoever and the scouts sound more enjoyable than the infantry. They walked up to where people were gathered in a crowd, slowly sorting themselves into one of the two lines. Ira hurried, looking around frantically. He was in luck, Quinn was standing directly in the middle of the two lines as if she was trying to make up her mind about where she was going. Ira ran up to her and wrapped his arms around her in a large hug, Quinn clearly did not know how to react to the gesture. “Your childhood sucked, but you’re free now. I hope you can make the most of it. Samuel and I are going to join the scouts. Thanks for helping us get this far.” She was clearly still a mix of revolted and dumbfounded, so Ira jogged off and joined his brother at the end of the line.
  5. Greenmntman

    The Fates that Bind

    All of a sudden Aidan didn’t feel so good. He had always been able to hold his firewater in great amounts, but beer on the other hand, he sometimes had trouble with. He thought to himself that the reaction from Julius that he disagreed with what he had said, and Aidan kind of tuned him out as he had a pretty good rant going in front of him. “Oh man” he thought, the room spun slightly as he steadied himself trying to keep his balance. Meanwhile Julius was turning slightly purple as the gurgling in Aidan’s stomach kept getting worse, like a pot was being put under pressure. He thought Ira looked smug and amused at the lecture, Aidan thought he was being a dickhead as always. Aidan didn’t have time to dwell on that though, he thought to himself that he needed to find a place to hurl. Julius slammed the knife in front of him, “Ira gets the gun”. “Bummer”, Aidan thought, as he watched Julius go over to someone he didn’t know and gave her something in a napkin. The napkin made him think, maybe that’s what he needed, food. He walked behind the bar where a duck was still being cooked, and pulled himself off a wing. He ate it in two large, quick bites, burning himself in the process. As that happened, the door burst open and he heard screams from inside the tavern. Julius was shouting something or another and then ran by himself outside. “Moron” he said as he could feel the duck hit his stomach. “Oh man”, he said, looking around frantically – there was a bucket in the corner next to a mop, he reached over, bent down and booted seemingly everything inside of him. “Wow”, he thought. The room stopped spinning, he found himself thinking straighter, and certainly he stopped feeling so bad. Much better. Aidan walked over and grabbed the knife from the table, Ira and Quinn were standing by the doorway looking at him as a few others had already run outside and had started the fight against the ghouls. “You good?” Ira asked, looking thoroughly amused, making a grand gesture of unslinging the shotgun from over his shoulder. “Yeah I’m good, just had to get a few things out of me first” Aidan said, lifting the knife in front of his head. At least it was a big knife, and had a good grip. “Good” Ira said, spun outside the door, and quickly scanned the street. There were two ghouls about 15 feet from him, one right behind the other. Aidan saw that Ira didn’t even bother to aim the gun, and just fired it from the hip. Immediately, both ghouls had a fiery red hole in them that only got larger until it consumed them entirely. Ira loved it. He let out a high pitched, “Woooo”, as he turned to Aidan yelling as he went, “Double kill! From the hip! I’m up two to one on you and that butter knife!” Aidan glanced up and looked at the knife he was holding. He thought of Ira, "Dickhead" he mumbled and walked out..
  6. Greenmntman

    Invasion of Lydon

    Samuel looked up a bit surprised at Quin -she had called him Sam. Nobody he knew had called him that in years. “The injury has been downgraded from being excruciatingly painful to only being a constant dull pain. Yeah it still hurts, but I am going to try and walk on my own without the cart today. Thanks again by the way, without your help even if I hadn’t bleed out in the first place, I would probably be a giant festering wound right now.” He grabbed his bag of stuff, and tossed Ira’s to him. “Funny.” He said, “I could have sworn yours was smaller than mine.” The three of them started hiking up and down the small mountain the rest of the morning. Thankfully between the soldiers and the carts using it the trail they were following hadn’t turned to mud. The spring breeze was still cool having just left behind a harsh winter, but the summer sun was still warm on everybody’s faces. It made for excellent hiking weather until they finally came down a series of hills and found themselves on the sandy riverbank that left Ira wondering how he had never seen it before. It was massive, 100 yards wide with the river crashing over large rocks at nearly every turn. Ira thought to himself that there was no way that an enemy army was going to be able to cross it if it remained this way. There was a large wooden bridge that was wide enough for maybe 4-5 people spanning the length of it, and as the group started to fallout for lunch, Ira was sure that he was being watched from the other side of the bank. Ira found himself staring wide-eyed at the mountain ranges in front of him, and understood why it was considered impenetrable. On his left stood massive snow covered mountain peaks that had to be 15,000 feet high and on the other side was shorter jagged mountains that stood straight upwards like fingers. Either way would be an extraordinarily difficult climb for an experienced hiker and 100 archers could hold off any force of significant size. In the middle of the two was a forest of green hardwoods and white birch, rising up directly in front of them. It was probably 2 miles wide, and rose from the valley like a steep staircase. Ira found it strange that he could see no fortifications or army, surely they hadn’t already been destroyed? Ira was too hungry to worry about those things. He was pretty sure he had an ear of corn buried in the sack. He dropped it to the sand, and started widening the opening at the top. Ten seconds later, his jaw was gapping open as the sack never stopped getting larger. It was at least 4 feet wide at this point, and he was discovering more and more items neatly separated as it widened. “Quin, Samuel, get over here check this out!” He yelled out as the sack finally ran out of items to discover inside. It turned out that Ira did have 2 ears of corn left, as well as a half dozen apples and even a little venison. Also inside was the mat and picture that his parents had given him, a few gold coins and a half drunken bottle of wine. Ira split up the food to Samuel and Quin who each looked as hungry as he had. “This is amazing” said a wide-eyed Samuel as he grabbed an apple. Quin helped herself to a chunk of venison, and said something about magic as she was greedily chewing with her mouth full. Ira agreed, “It has to be magic, to expand like that. And these apples, there hasn’t been ripe apples since the fall.” He popped open the cork on the bottle of wine and took a long drink from it – it was good, very sweet. He tossed it to Quin as he bit into an apple. “So do you know anything about where you are from before your parents left you? Were they actually from Lydon?”
  7. Greenmntman

    Invasion of Lydon

    Ira woke up at the sound of shouting among the camp, he reached out instinctively grabbing for his axe, his shield. He found his axe, lifting it up over his head, looking frantically all around him to try and find … laughter. He was met with laugher from the soldiers who watched him do this, as they were obvious being roused from their sleep by James, not by any sort of enemy. One of them came up to Ira and said, “Boy, I like your instincts. But would you put that thing down before you hurt someone with it before breakfast?” Ira grunted as he put his gear on, and packed his mat. He looked around and saw that the camp more than doubled in size since he had gone to bed, and that there was easily over 100 people buzzing about and getting ready to leave. He looked out over the horizon and gasped – the entire world was on fire. Ira found himself looking off over the valley. The city was engulfed in flames, looking like a small square completely caught in fire. Closer up, there were multiple smaller fires all around the valley, including small villages and individual farms. Samuel had walked up next to him as Ira was taking everything in. “They burned down the farm”. “Yeah.” Samuel replied almost casually. Ira wanted to cut someone’s head off – if his brother didn’t at least seem bothered that the rest of his family were likely dead, Ira was afraid it would be his. He turned around and started looking for someone who could help. He found James, who looked like he had just finished getting ready and thought that would be close enough. “Give me someone to kill, I want to cut off some heads.” James laughed at him and picked up his sack. “As you probably saw, we were reinforced by another 100 soldiers last night, and 20 civilians. We are all going to get to the camp and wait for further orders. Besides, the city fell completely into enemy hands yesterday morning I’ve been told. Although it sounds like we got a lot of troops out before in collapsed, anyone who got out is running like hell to get to a mountain pass. I hate to say it, but there’s not actually any fighting to go around.” Ira knew that “Damn it man, my family’s farm was burned this morning. I want to go back and if any invading army gets in my way, I will cut a path threw them a mile wide.” Ira paused a moment, and let his anger try and take a back seat to reason. He still wanted to fight more than anything, but he knew that he would have to give a military reason to seek it. “Let me go around, take volunteers to go back, and at least we might be able to buy some other folk’s time to get out.” James sighed, looking down at his feet. Looking sincerely saddened at least helped to Ira. “I’m sorry to hear that, but even if I wanted to do that, I am no longer in charge in this band. I’m just a lieutenant, and Captain Allan intent on getting us moving this morning. Besides, if you really want to kill invading scum as you can, do yourself a favor: get trained, become an actual soldier and you will get your chance.” The words calmed down Ira enough for him to realize that more training probably meant more dead enemies over the long run. Ira looked over to where James was nodding, and he saw a tall, thin man walking back and forth looking over people in the camp. His boots were so shined, armor was so sparkled that Ira felt blinded looking at him from an acre away. Ira saw that while the captain’s uniformed was polished, he seemed to get enjoyment out of screaming at anyone whose equipment did not meet his standard, even though the majority of them had just undergone a full day of combat, then marching. “Who the hell is this prick” Ira thought to himself, as he watched the new commanding officer turn away from his soldiers and towards the prostitutes who were on the edge of the camp. Judging from his reaction, unlike James, Captain Allan didn’t mind their presence at all. In fact, he seemed completely distracted by unexpected company. Ira wandered over to Quin, “Well, it looks like you will be more than welcome judging by the new leader in the meantime. You ready to head out?”
  8. Greenmntman

    Invasion of Lydon

    It had been almost exactly 48 hours since Ira had shaken Quins hand at his family’s farm. The next morning, all of the soldiers and a half dozen of the prostitutes had gotten an early rise and prepared for the days march. Ira’s family actually surprised him, they had given away almost all of the farms horses, several of their carts, and as much of the family’s corn as they could pick in a short period of time. The carts were a god-send as it allow all of the wounded to rest as they were pulled by the horses instead of having to march up the narrow trails that spider webbed around the line of hills ahead of them. Ira could see Samuel trying to rest as he ate another head of corn, lazily chucking the husk over the side. It had taken some persuasion, but finally Samuel convinced his parents that joining the others was the only option. After all, if a hundred thousand enemy soldiers were going to be heading directly toward the house, at least one of them would be curious as to how he received his wounds. Ira had passionately tried to convince Thomas and his parents to join them, but they couldn’t be budged. His parents refused to leave the farm that they had spent their entire lives working on, Thomas didn’t believe it was his war to fight. After Ira had piled as much corn as he could into the cart Samuel was seated in, he hugged his family goodbye. Samuel had a photograph of the entire family that they had taken together many years ago in the city. Ira had had taken two rolled up mattresses, they were small and uncomfortable, but they would certainly beat sleeping on the ground. He found himself amazed that they both fit into the sack he had found the day before. James had ordered everyone to start marching after a very early breakfast, and only by the time they had walked through enough of the forest to come to the foothills of the Minthe Mountains, had Ira felt like they were not going to be ambushed at any passing second. They all were gathered around a giant fire, eating corn that seemed to be either charred or not quite cooked enough. The camp overlooked the entire valley that Ira had called home, and he could see the city burning barely on the horizon, and a speck of light before that which he thought might be his family’s farm. James was grunting to himself as he ate dinner while sitting on a log, and Ira decided to interrupt. “Hey man, where are we actually going?” James and a few others looked up, he seemed annoyed that he was bothered with a question. After what seemed like a few seconds of deciding whether to answer, James replied back. “One of the few things the army has always done right, is that they have been prepared for war for quite some time. Lydon may be surrounded on three sides by Numar, but the only way they can reach anywhere of importance is by crossing the Minthe range at one of only a couple passes in the middle of them. If they were to try anywhere else, the entire army would be climbing 15,000 foot mountains and 20,000 peaks, risking not only death from our army, but the cold and lack of oxygen. The range stretches hundreds of miles, almost like an inner ring guarding the nation. The only other way is to try and go around to attempt a landing by ocean, and good luck with that.” Samuel starred at James, it may have been the lousy food, or the pain he was in, but he was in a struggle to remain polite. “Dude, we grew up only a 5 days hike away from the mountains, we know what the country looks like. Are we going to guard a mountain pass or what?” James let out a brief smile as he realized he had been a bit silly in giving a geography lesson to the people who had lived here. “Right. Well, I am sure you are familiar with the King’s Gap through the mountains. Of course it has the King’s highway, running along it. But there is a second mountain pass not far away and it is the designated fallback position. In case of invasion it has always been rumored that there is enough equipment and food to last an army several lifetimes. There also is a full training facility once you two get patched up, you can officially become part of the military if you’d like.” Ira nodded as he looked out over turned to Quin, “Sounds good to me, are you coming all the way along for the ride?”
  9. Greenmntman

    The Fates that Bind

    Aidan was annoyed. All he wanted to do was drink beer and imagine what he was going to do with all the money that he was entitled too now that he had a few corpses outside. As far as he was considered, whatever the hell was going on outside was directly connected to Julius, therefore, he was the one ruining his moment. The beer probably didn't help, but at this point even Ira was annoying him - he seemed to like this guy. "Look man, I don't know shit about dead people, all I know is I am really good at turning living ones into dead ones. I didn't come here to fight the dead aside from the four guys that I made that way outside." He stumbled over to the table the rest had gathered around. "Give me the silver knife, give me the gun and tell me what I've got to do before I start drinking beer again." Ira stood back laughing at Aidan's tirade. Ed brought out a few fire pokers which he swore were solid iron. He handed over to Ira the longest and passed out a few smaller ones. Ira swung his a few times, it was certainly a little bit awkward, and was almost as heavy as his battle-axe. Ira chuckled to himself about that - a fire poker being nearly as heavy as his war-axe was all the reaffirmation he needed of his weapons quality. He stepped forward, and gave a chuckle. "I guess it goes without saying that we won't need a shield for this one. So what happens, you poke the ghoul with the pointy end and it goes poof? Seems simple enough. Where do we start?"
  10. Greenmntman

    The Motley Crew

    Ira looked over Lorelei as she tried to patch up Aidan. He thought to himself that through all the fighting over the years, he had seen many people who called themselves doctors or healers, but this girl was talented. Ira didn’t think Aidan was going to die as he saw the wound, but he did think that it was going to take an entire process to patch him up. Lorelei had the bleeding stopped in under half an hour. Aidan yelled a third of the time, and was bitching and moaning another third– Ira thought that this was drastic improvement over the expectations he had of his traveling companion. When it was all done, Aidan was lying against a wooden beam in the middle of the room propping himself slightly upward against it. He looked up at everyone and let out a dramatic wince, “It hurts pretty badly. I think I am going to be OK though. I suppose that some whiskey is out of the question?” Ira nodded that he was correct and looked down at him, examing the wound. Aidan would not be in fighting shape for a couple of weeks at least. “Well, we can sleep somewhere in the town for the night. Or if we want we can see if we can catch the airship that will be arriving in a few hours. What do you think, would you be able to move?” Aidan closed his eyes and thought about it. He shook his head. “I can’t walk around today. Tomorrow after some rest tonight, I might be able to go somewhere real slow. Lorelei, Zafira, do either of you have something to help me sleep?” He asked. Ira looked around as they tried to figure that out, and walked over to the man whose arm was still bleeding everywhere. The man was in a lot of pain, and was clearly terrified of Ira after watching the rest of the party suffer a worse fate than himself. Ira had thought that one of the others said his name was Dave. “Dave, I need to know everything about why this happened, and what is going on in Hell’s Gate. And I need you to tell me the truth.” Ira stood over him with his axe, trying to make it sound like there was no choice in the matter. Dave tried to retreat as much as he could, but he obviously did not have a way to escape. “Why should I tell you? What will you do with me afterwards?” Ira was tired, it had been a very long, bloody day and quite frankly he wasn’t worried about a barely trained solider who was missing his dominant arm. He was willing to make a deal to get the information he needed. “There are two options, if you tell me everything I need to know, I am going to have my friend there patch your arm up. Then we will take all your coins and tell you that if we ever see you again, you will lose the other arm. And of course you will leave town tonight.” Dave nodded and seemed to relax a little bit. He liked that option. Ira continued, “The other option is you don’t tell me everything and you don’ make it until tomorrow.” Dave didn’t mind making the easy choice. They did not pay him nearly enough to take option 2. “All of Terrenus is about to erupt into civil war. There are at least half a dozen factions that are vying for control of the continent, and you ran into the guy who leads one of them. He is based out of the black market in Hell’s Gate and has a few dozen people in groups of 5 roaming the countryside, looking for you.” Ira groaned, this was the last thing he needed. “So what’s his role in the civil war?” “He wants to take control over Hell’s Gate because he knows it’s on the very edge of several factions territory. He knows how much money there is to be made in the black market for the person who runs it. And with all of the other factions declaring war on each other, he is happy to sit back and see if he can solidify his spot.” Ira looked down at Dave and didn’t doubt what he was saying was true. He still looked like he was in a great deal of pain. Ira turned to Lorelei who he thought had overheard most of the conversation, “Can you please patch him up so he can get out of here?” He looked down at Dave again, who looked like he had just been told that he had been pardoned from the executioner. “If I were you, I would find a forgotten part of the world and settle down far away from here. If I ever see you again, I am going to take the other arm, and say it was in self-defense.” Ira looked around at Lorelei and Zafira who he was pretty sure overheard the conversation. “Well, I am not sure we have any good options here. But it seems to me like we can continue on to Hells Gate and after Aidan heals, we can see if we can deal with it there. If people are searching for us in the countryside, they probably won’t look for us in Hells Gate. We can try and run off to some other part of Terrenus or the world and see if we can avoid most of the fighting. But it sounds like staying here is not the best idea. Quite frankly, Ulf still owes us some money and part of me is thinking that if we can put Sir Sidney’s head on a pike, someone else will appreciate the effort and maybe pay us for the trouble."
  11. Greenmntman

    The Fates that Bind

    Ira had gotten up to see what the man who had buried the bodies was doing, he didn’t get to have much fun in the fight earlier that day, and he felt like sticking his nose where it didn’t belong. When he got up out of his seat, the earth started shaking. “Shit, I didn’t think I was that drunk.” Ira thought, as he tried to steady himself, “That crap beer must have been a lot stronger than I thought”. After a few seconds of standing and watching the inside of the tavern, Ira realized it wasn’t him that was off balance, the whole entire ground was shaking! He looked around to find that Quinn had run outside the bar and started shooting her pistols off at someone who was outside. The man he intended to bother raced off after her, and Ira decided to do the same after grabbing his axe. It looked like Quinn was being attacked by one of these … what the hell were these things anyway? Ira decided to do what came naturally to him as one went past him toward Quinn. He swung his axe with great force – using two hands on a one handed weapon and cut in half whatever it used to be. Ira looked at the thing that he had attacked in horror. Whatever it was, its body had no meat attached to it, just a trail of smoke where his axe went through. Even more shocking to Ira was that it reattached itself, and continued on like nothing had happened. He didn’t even bother turning around and seeing what hit him – like it either didn’t know or care. Ira got scared for the first time in many years, as it had been made clear that his weapon of choice would have no effect on whatever these things were. It seemed like an entirety but couldn’t have been more than a few seconds after he had left the tavern that he jolted back inside. The other two rushed back in and the one Ira was going to bother started giving a speech about ghosts and greed. What caught Ira’s attention however was the shotgun he pulled out from somewhere. “We are fighting ghosts now?” he wondered to himself with a laugh. Talk about sticking your nose where it didn’t belong. “Huh. I think the two of us are going to get along alright” he thought as he started to grin. Some idiot in the tavern started complaining about why the 19 was the one leading this fight, but Ira had no complaints. “Well Julius, my name is Ira, this axe is solid steel, really good quality. This is Aidan, he’s good with steel bolts and a steel sword. How can we help?”
  12. Greenmntman

    The Motley Crew

    One down Ira thought as the now one armed bearded man screamed. Unfortunately the other 4 that were accompanying him were actually quite quick on the draw and had their swords raised before he or Aidan could get to the second in line. That or of course, the alcohol had slowed him down, but that was a crazy thought. Toothless had his sword up, but looked shocked to be in this position. "What the fuck was that for!" he screamed at the two of them trying to decide whether to be enraged or cry. "We are having a nice talk at the bar, and then you chop Dave's arm off, what the fuck is your problem?" Ira and Aidan were about to step forward and get it started when the girl walked threw the door. "Oh fuck" said Aidan, as Lorelei announced she was a healer and got to work tying up the man's arm. The two of them continued to glare at the other four for less than a minute before Zafira walked in as well. "Two men, Two women.....and a really large dog." Said the man farthest from Ira who hadn't spoken to this point. He had a giant scar running from his right ear to the right side of his lip and didn't seem to understand that he had been insulted. All he understood was that the young man, who seemed to be the leader of the group told him to attack. Ira saw toothless lunge at Lorelei, and thought that she was going to have to take care of herself, with the drunkard for a moment, his three friends were heading toward himself and Aidan. The first one was the man who hadn't talked threw the whole ordeal and he came forward swinging his sword wildly at Aidan not wanting to wait for the others. "Stupid" Ira thought to himself, as he saw Aidan stumble a bit but then nearly cleve him in half. Ira saw scarface literally fall over himself as he came his way, but considering that he was still 15 feet away, decided that he was not the immediate threat. The young one however had come at Aidan right after his friend had died, and Ira turned around as Aidan let out a scream of pain. Aidan had fallen to the floor, and the armor on his chest under his right arm had been opened like a can of red beans, his body clearly lacerated. The young one was clearly the leader, and had clearly been trained. He stood over Aidan as turned around to face Ira. He raised his weapon, and to Ira's surprise it was a broadsword, a giant two handed weapon that had at least a foot of reach on his own. The leader raised it over his head ready to strike downward when Ira came within reach. Ira knew better than to come straight at him, his shield would absorb the blow, but his arm more than likely would be broken by the impact, and there were still 2 others that had to be killed. Never mind the fact that despite himself not being as drunk as Aidan, this opponent was sober, and more than likely quicker than himself. There was a chair between Ira and Aidan, far too small to be used as a barrier or shield. Yet. "You fellows have a nice price on your head from Sir Sydney" the young man sneered as they circled each other, chaos unfolding around them. Ira looked down at the floor, and the distance between the two of them. "I hope you got an advance". He took two steps, and with his right foot kicked the chair upwards, so it crashed gently into the young man, who took his right arm off his sword and swatted it away. "Now you have a one handed broad sword" thought Ira, as the broadsword came down on his shield raised high, not with a hammer, but barely with a crash. Ira did not need both hands to get enough force behind his weapon, and removed his opponents head. Ira looked around, a dozen feet away Zafira had beaten a man in a particularly bad area and he was hunched over the floor. Ira walked over, and silently ended his attachment to pain. It was scarface, and next to him lay toothless who Ira couldn't tell if he was dead, passed out or unconscious. He cut off his head to be sure. That was everybody, except beard face who was still screaming after being patched up by Lorelei. Ira turned to Lorelei and Zafira, "Are you two OK? These bastards won't be blowing up and airships anytime soon that's for sure." A different kind of shouting overtook Ira's attention as he walked over to Aidan who was clearly in pain. "AHHH, wow, this would be a wonderful time to have a healer in the group!" he yelled at all of them.
  13. Greenmntman

    The Fates that Bind

    Ira laughed heartily as he saw the look of shock on his old friend after 10 long years. Finally reunited, he slapped Aidan across the chest and told him, "If you stopped being so cranky for just one second, you would have recognized her." He turned his attention to far more pressing matters as the bartender walked over to him. "Ah, now here's a well earned beer." He turned to Quin, "Well, to answer your last question, we came to this ... umm lovely town here, looking for the four now dead corpses outside of this place. They escaped from the Reyer prison complex after not wanting to spend half of a lifetime there after the four of them robbed a few different banks. Of course, the good people at Reyer put a rather large bounty on all of their heads, which gave us enough incentive to track them down. Once we figured out that they came here, it was just a matter of how we take them when its only 2 of us against 4 of them. But that was easy enough. So, either tomorrow or the next day we will head back and collect that bounty." He took a long swig of the beer - mediocre at best. Aidan didn't seem to care, he was already near the bottom of his second pint. "But in a more general sense, we've been bounty hunting, we've hired help to protect caravans, we even were hired as customs workers for little while based on nothing but we were large, and had armor. It's safe to say, anything that can pay, we've done it. I have a nice pile of coin saved up, and Aidan here has whored and drank his way throughout most of the known world." Ira laughed as Aidan raised his beer and grunted in approval. "It's amazing his dick hasn't fallen off yet. By the way, what the hell are you doing around here yourself?" ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ An hour or so later, Ira had polished off his fifth drink and Aidan looked like he was trying not to drool on himself. Quin had been drinking whiskey before any of them had gotten their, and remained significantly ahead of them. The bar had emptied out, but the man who had dragged the bodies away remained, he had been looking over something nearly the entire time. He had drawn Aidans attention most of all and at this point, and Ira was nearing staring at him. Aidan was the first to speak, "What the heck do you think that guy is up to?" Ira stumbled up from the bar and struggled slightly to gain his balance. "I don't know, but lets have some fun and find out."
  14. Greenmntman

    Invasion of Lydon

    Four hours after telling Quin that they should have plenty of tools at the farm to help, the sorry looking group finally arrived. It took some time for Ira’s parents to get over the shock that the major city a few miles to their south was under attack, that their sons had been in a battle, and tonight what seemed like an entire army was going to be sleeping in their hay stacks. What really threw his rather conservative parents over the edge though, was when it turned out a handful of brothel workers had followed them figuring that it would be safer to travel with soldiers, who had certainly ended noticing them on their hike. Eventually Ira’s parents quietly conceded to the evening’s events, and with help from Samuel and his eldest brother Thomas, made a giant kettle of corn soup to feed the masses. After everyone was fed, Ira and his father Edgar took Quin out to the barn where all the tools and farm equipment were and started to work on cutting off her chains. “Oh, I see, so you were not an actual prostitute, you were just a doctor who took care of them”, Ira winced as his father finally got it. It took at least 5 minutes and repeating that multiple times from him to finally catch on what her job title was. “Yup,” Ira replied, “thankfully she was there too, because she was the one who patched up Samuel and half of the people sleeping in our barn. Now hand me that hammer.” Ira worked on the chains, heavy suckers that took a pounding to break, even when heated. After what seemed like forever of silently trying to break the chains as his forearms groaned at the effort, they snapped. Ira’s father took the hammer for his turn on the second one. Edgar had been a farmer his whole life and was built like a man who had been accustom to hard work since before puberty. Ira was of the same mold – except he gave up a few inches of height to his father who had also starting showing the clear signs of not being as young as he once was. Edgar looked at his son as he raised the hammer, “Well, the family will have to figure out what to do once your friends head somewhere else tomorrow.” Edgar smashed the hammer repeatedly into the chain, causing it to bend drastically quicker than Ira was able to. “We can talk about it all tonight.” He turned to look at Quin a minute later when he had her free of the chain. “Now, let’s start on that collar.” Ira looked at him as he began prying and trying to manhandle the collar away from its captive. “Dad, I am going with them tomorrow”. His father let go of the collar, closed his eyes and held them shut for several seconds as he tried to find the right words to try and dissuade him. “Your brother was nearly killed today. I don’t need to worry about you as well. People die in war. We have an army, I am sure they are ready to get rid of the invaders. Besides, I need you around the farm. It’s damn near time to plant the corn and I need you three boys. “ Ira tried burning the collar off, as he thought of his argument to his dad. Finally, after he concluded burning would not work, he explained what really happened today. “Today I killed 7 men. I wounded one more. Samuel killed at least a few. I can’t stop seeing the first ones face, a fat bald man with no armor or shield and a stupid little mustache. The rest happened too fast, it was a blur. There were thousands of them all charging at the city, the dead fell in waves. But damn it, we are at war. Who is going to fight this, men your age? Guys who are 25 who are married and have kids? It might as well be me. Besides, I could be training for weeks before I next see someone from Namur, and the entire army will be passing right through this farm before too long, the city maybe has another full day before it is overrun. Damn it. Cutting this collar off isn’t going to work either.” Ira’s father came up with an idea, taking the axe that Ira was still lugging around, placing that very, very carefully on the edge of the collar and pounding the top of the axe. “I don’t like it. I don’t want my sons heading off to war. Because I also know that as soon as you do, Samuel will be right behind you in this. But I suppose your right. Your grandfathers, grandfather fought in the last war, and he told me a few stories about it that were told to him. About the raids that his men would conduct, and how the slaughter would last for days. It sounded horrible, and I hope you know what you are signing up for. But your brother is 19. He’s been a man for 3 years now. Yourself for two.” He slammed the anvil down onto the axe, which had absolutely no effect on the collar. Sweating profusely, he finally turned back to his son. “Just promise me one thing, if things ever get too crazy, if the odds get too bad, don’t try and be doing something heroic, just turn and run, and live to fight another day.” Ira nodded his head. “I can do that.” He turned to look at Quin who had let them work in peace. “This thing is not coming off today. Your stuck with it for a while”.
  15. Greenmntman

    The Fates that Bind

    Ira put the last of his armor back on, grunting and feeling far more at ease. “By far the worst part about this armor” he thought, “if you have to pee, it takes an entire process.” Considering he had waited in the shack across the road for over an hour – and that was after the time it took to make sure Aidan was in place and ready to steal the small sack of coins from their camp thereby creating a ruckus and being able to bait them into a position. Ira thought correctly as it turned out, that between Aidan’s large shield, and the sturdy door frame, it would be a one on one fight, not four on one. The crossbow could do the rest, even if he had the worlds hardest time loading it for that first bolt. Ira walked back from around the alley where he thought he didn’t have to worry about people stealing his stuff. He had spent the last several days scouting the village, seeing every tavern door and side alleyway he could find – just in case things went south. He found that people here seemed to keep for themselves, not bother strangers, and mind their own business. He figured that was what would draw four escaped prisoners to a shanty town in the middle of nowhere like this anyway. That or they were stupid enough to go after the legendary magical stuff buried away somewhere. When he came within sight of the tavern again, he noticed that there were considerably less corpses in front of it then when he had left. He looked around and saw man with a cane dragging all four bodies down the road toward the cemetery. Ira rested outside by the door and watched this strange sight from a-far. He clearly wasn’t a member of the bar staff, and clearly wasn’t blind as the cane would suggest. Young and clearly strong, Ira watched as the man burned the bodies. “Good enough for me.” Thought Ira as he walked in and surveyed the tavern. Shockingly enough it seemed like Aidan was still in a cranky mood. “That makes every day for ten years.” Ira muttered to himself. As he walked up behind the two of them, he couldn’t help look at the woman he was snarling at, and know that he had seen her before. Aidan apparently took offense to some small slight, and had been telling her all about it. “Look, I am saying is don’t be eye balling someone after they get into a fight without saying why, it seems suspicious.” Aidan reached down and his hand touched the hilt of his sword, with the woman glaring at him from the next seat over. “Oh shit.” Ira exclaimed to himself. He walked over to the two of them and announced loudly, “Would you relax and get your hand off of that thing before she hurts you with it?” He turned to the woman, who he recognized from the glare as his very old friend. “Hi, Quin, good to see you”.
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