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Greenmntman

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About Greenmntman

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    Moon of Endor
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    Guarding The Wall

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  1. Greenmntman

    Chateau de Choisel: The Labyrinth That Is Her Mind

    Ira heard the first vampire before he saw him, but knew he was being messed with. He felt Quinn try and hold him down slightly to prevent him from doing something angry or stupid, but there was no need. He had already survived death earlier in the day, and he had promised her not to do it again if he could help it. He was going to try and play nice. It was only a few seconds later that the big bastard made his appearance. Dressed in human clothes he would have looked like someone in a slightly dated outfit from a hundred yards away, but close by there was no mistaking him from a vampire. Ira judged that he had to be at least 6' 6" and he felt dwarfed by the monster. Soon afterwards the third appeared, she seemingly came out of thin air and talked to the others. She had a pleasant expression on her face, but soon started sharpening her knives in front of him. Ira had never thought himself to be an especially smart man, but he had gotten the hint of what she was thinking. "Fuck me." Ira thought to himself. He figured that on a good day, he'd at least have a chance against an average vampire. With the silver tip on his axe, he would kill it if he could cut it, but catching up to it would be exceptionally difficult. Against these three though? He didn't stand a chance. Ira decided a different tact, one that he wasn't accustomed too. The tall one was clearly the master of the castle, and he dropped the axe so it's head was resting on the dirt and looked the vampire. "If it helps, I'm sorry for what happened here today." He thought about what to say next for a second. "My partner and I actually paid for information on this castle, and we were told that it was abandoned, We were told that there was no living things here. I saw there was vampire writing on the gate to the labyrinth, but didn't expect that it should be taken literally. The other two were hired help, and we specifically told them to leave any graves alone. We didn't want to stir up any unwanted trouble. They uh ... got frustrated in the labyrinth and a bad choice. I am sorry for their behavior, I wanted to loot an abandoned lords castle, not rob graves. I didn't have any idea Quinn was here." He allowed himself to break into a bit of a grin. "Not going to deny it's a nice coincidence to run into her again though" He thought about it for a second, and was glad that he didn't even have to lie. He wasn't above looting a castle abandoned by some noble dickhead, but he'd never mess with graves. "How'd you know I was coming?"
  2. Greenmntman

    Chateau de Choisel: The Labyrinth That Is Her Mind

    "I guess it depends on why you are here and when you are going to leave me again."  That hurt Ira. He was simultaneously hurt, seething mad, frightened, and most of all tired. For a guy who was already having a hell of a day, and whose emotions were typically greed, lust and revenge, it was quite much. He figured he would start from the beginning. "Aidan and I both talked to someone who was boasting that he knew of a castle in this area that had been abandoned decades ago, and aside from a slight danger was easy pickings for left over gold and treasure." He paused to think about iit obviously being a set up. He'd kill him if he managed to get out of this. "We hired two mercs to come with us, and see what we could find. We entered the maze this morning, and were certainly going slower than I would have liked, when one of the mercs disobeyed orders and broke into a mausoleum to steal. It triggered some sort of an attack which ended up killing the two mercs. Just as we were getting away we started to be chased by whatever the fuck this thing is. Aidan was ahead of me, I turned and charged at it, Aidan got away." He tried to remember Max and Dustin, what they looked like. Truth be told, aside from being in great shape, they were truly unremarkable. Then a switch turned on him. "Hey, wait a damn second. Last time I saw you, we were attacked by an entire ghost army and you wanted us to go on some sort of suicide mission with that freak to fight another ghost army. Yeah I bailed on you, but you were insistent on going, and that was not my idea of a good time." Wait a second, what else did she say? Master. The writing on the gate was in vampire. He felt his face go white. Oh shit. "Oh shit, Master." He drew his sword and looked around. Seeing no immediate threat he took out garlic from his pack and put a string around his head. "Damn it Quinn, that's what this is, a vampire colony!? How the hell did you end up here?" He didn't have anything against vampires, but they weren't his favorite creature in the world. He tried to remember what he had learned about them while getting to know one in the war a decade ago. Mainly that they were fast. They could be killed if need be, but you first had to deal with the fact that they were remarkably, scarily, fast. He looked at Quinn from under his armor plate and paused once more. She was a young feisty broad of twenty when he first saw her, and while she still was very pretty, he could tell the years had not been easy on her. It was no wonder, she had without question saved his life, and Aidan's as well, leaving herself for dead in the process. Ira smiled to himself, she always did have a temper, and she looked quite pissed off at the sight of him today. Damn it, he always did have a soft spot for her. "If it's good with him, I am done fighting for the day." He didn't sheathe his sword, but he lowered it, took a deep breathe and sighed. "I will be around until the annoyance of these vampires outweighs the pleasure of seeing you again. Which, considering how nice it is to see you again, I might need to start to like drinking blood.
  3. Greenmntman

    Chateau de Choisel: The Labyrinth That Is Her Mind

    Just as the two of them started away from the undead further up the maze, he heard the sound of thunderous steps coming ever close. "What the fuck is that?" he asked Aidan, finally admitting to himself that this entire expedition was a mistake. "Lets not find out" his partner said, already summoning up whatever energy he had left to sprint further on. He saw it out of the corner of his eye, massive, grotesque. It exploded through the hedgerows like a normal sized man would go through tall grass. Except this wasn't a man, it was at least ten feet taller than a normal one, and looked like something out of a nightmare. The monster paused only long enough to dismember the corpse of Dustin, pulling his arm in one clean motion. "OH FUCK" he thought, sprinting as fast as he could, around the corner disregarding any other trap he might be running into. The monster caught up to him, and it happened quickly. It was right behind him, and he knew there was no way he would be able to out run it. "If this is it, I am not going out like a coward running away" he thought as he slowly turned around and drew his sword. "Ira no!" He heard Aidan cry out behind him. The monster was paused in front of him, studying him. "Aidan, get the fuck out of here. Follow the path through the hedgerows, look! He's burrowed a path straight out for you. There's no way we are going to be able to our run him. If I make it out, I'll meet you at Ulfs." Aidan didn't need to be told twice to save his hide and just said, "Good luck buddy" The monster just stood there. "Maybe he's out of sorts" thought Ira, charging forward as quickly as he could without further hesitation. The monster reacted by hitting him so fast and so hard, he barely had time to even see the blow, never mind react to it. It was so hard that his helmet came off, and he was staggered enough that he had to struggle to keep upright. The creature roared then just sat there staring at him still, studying him. The monster again moved at breathtaking speed. Scooping him up in the crook of his elbow, and carrying him off, Ira knew he was going off to be eaten. His sword arm was pinned down, there was no way he could move or defend himself. He had lived to old age as a solider for hire, and most of the people he had known in his life had died well before his age of 30. The monster rampaged through hedgerows, and only now did Ira see how massive the courtyard was. He knew now that it would have taken days to get to the castle. Finally he reached the edge of the castle, where the monster ran right up to the nearest door roared one last time, and dropped him a few feet from the door. He looked up to see what awaited him inside ... and saw Quinn. ""What the fuck are you doing here?!" She asked him, standing in the doorway. He couldn't take it anymore. He sat backwards, down on the grass as he looked up at her. "Aidan, myself and two others heard that this was a deserted castle that possibly still had treasure and gold inside of it. We started into the maze, trying to find our way here this morning. One of the sell swords did something stupid and we were attacked by the undead. Both sell swords died, and then this thing here attacked us immediately afterwards. Aidan hopefully escaped, it grabbed me and brought me here." Ira sighed, of all the people on earth he expected to see today, the last was Quinn Nash. He thought back to over ten years previous, meeting her during the early stages of the great war for his country. They fought side by side, outnumbered by thousands as they came down to attack from the hills and mountains, trying to defend their land against the invaders. They both endured 2 years of constant fighting, and tragedy resulting in a final battle for the control of the nation. Unfortunately, it was a massacre resulting in all surviving members fleeing, and it was during this time he met Aidan. Quinn sacrificed herself in order to ensure that both Aidan and Ira could sail off away from the continent to safety. He had seen her a total of three days since then, when he had collected a bounty in a small town that she had happened to be in, before they went their separate ways. Day dreaming distracted from the moment at hand however. He looked at Quinn with the backdrop of the massive castle behind her and asked, "Quinn, what is this place?" He looked back at the monster still behind him. "What is this thing?" He looked at the sell swords blood still on his armor. "Quinn, did you have anything to do with us getting attacked?"
  4. Greenmntman

    Chateau de Choisel: The Labyrinth That Is Her Mind

    He turned yet again to the right. Aidan actually had managed to agree with him about something, that when it came to the maze, it was best to stay on the outer wall, because it would have to eventually lead to the castle. Once the group were inside the middle of the maze, they could get into real trouble. So in the meantime they entered what had to be their 5th hour in the maze, and they kept turning to the right as they passed fancier and more elaborate burial sites. Max and Dustin were getting visibly frustrated, even though AIdan had said it might talk all day to reach the castle entrance. Personally, he was thanking his stars that they had made it five hours inside the maze so far without incident. Max was the big one, who had seemed to be the more impulsive of the two. Max had to stand a full six inches above him, and was roughly as broad as gorilla. Dustin looked like he threw hay bales for fun, but at least he was quite and a reasonable height. As it were, Max was the one who was getting audibly annoyed with the lack of progress in the maze, and therefore was clearly the one who was most annoying. "All I am saying, is that I am going to be mad if we get done this entire thing and there is no treasure." Max told the group, leaving Aidan visibly annoyed. Dustin tried to step in, "Max just leave it dude", Max stopped and looked at Dustin long enough to point his finger in his face, "No! Damn it, we came all this way, we had better come back with something better than just a pile of tombstone fragments. And quite frankly I am starting to wonder if that is going to be the case right now. Aidan looked like he was trying to control his temper, as he told the two of them, "You think your the only sell swords we could have hired? We are paying you too be here right now! By all means, do me a favor, quit. Find your own way out of the maze and don't get paid." He saw Max turn walk toward one of the mausoleums with a gazed, far off look in his eye. "Hey, where are you going?" He had tried to ignore the exchange between the three others in his company, but even from 30 feet away he had seen what Max was walking toward - it was a ruby easily the size of his head. It was in a 7 foot high white granite mausoleum with glass doors and some sort of dark ancient writing on the front of it. It looked like it had to be 20 feet long on the inside which was pitch black aside from a massive red stone resting on a pedestal. He dropped everything he had, grasped his shield, and grabbed hold of his battle axe. He raised his voice urgently and yelled forward "Max! Stop! We agreed, no looting graves!" Max turned around as he raised his sword, "Consider it taking up your friends offer, I quit. I am taking this, and going home. Consider it my share of all the treasure you find the rest of the time here" Ira winced in fear as he watched Max slam blade against the door handles, cutting them off. Quickly, he was inside the structure, standing behind the pedestal. He lifted the ruby up off of its home, and lifted it over his head like a prize, with an expression of pure joy. Max hadn't heard noises the noises starting to creep out of the mausoleum, but he had and looked at Aidan, "Swords and shields." Aidan had already read his mind, and Dustin didn't take long to figure it out. He watched as Max finally turned around to face what was inside the granite tomb with him. He never saw the blow, all he heard was a brief shout and gurgling seconds later as the blood started to trickle out of mausoleum. Max collapsed on himself in a heap, as out stepped 6 bodies dressed in rags, horribly decomposed from centuries of burial. They all carried foot-long swords, and walked out moaning as they slowly came toward the three remaining men. Aidan and Dustin had come close to him and they watched the insects crawl over the bodies that suddenly wanted to kill them. "Wonderful." He said raising his shield up so it protected everything from his chin to the top of his thighs. "Pallbearers."
  5. Greenmntman

    Chateau de Choisel: The Labyrinth That Is Her Mind

    He had just finished a very modest breakfast with the two sell swords when Aidan climbed out of his tent. Max and Dustin had tended the small fire all morning and had even cooked a small kettle of coffee over it. He paused from carving the wood in front of him and thought to himself that the coffee alone was worth bringing the two mercenaries along, never mind the fact that they were both skilled swordsman. With the dangers ahead, that skill might be needed as soon as today. He closed his eyes and reminded himself that this was the real reason to put up with Aidan, that he was arguably the best swordsman he had ever seen. They had talked about gaining riches since they were young, and now were both over the wrong side of 30. Pain that he maybe, having someone with Aidans abilities on his side was a good way to live to see 40. Aidan sat down on the log that they had pulled close to the fire and looked at him. "Where did you even learn vampire?" He thought back to the war that had broken out during his youth, when the neighboring country of Namur invaded his homeland of Lydon. For years he had fought in the mountains as a scout, hitting at enemy supply lines and nipping at the army that was unable to break through the fortresses blocking the mountain passes. He narrowly escaped only with a great cost, fleeing his home after the army of Lydon was slaughtered in a final battle. For years he had held on to the image of his family farm burning in the distance as he rode off with the army, swearing to raise a company of enough mercenaries to invade the country, and free his people. He looked at Aidan who was starting to put some sausages on the frying pan, "During the war I trained with a vampire. It turned out he had lived in Lydon for a couple hundred years, and he thought he had a greater stake in the outcome of the war than anybody." He thought back, to call him a friend was a bit much, but a good mentor was very accurate. He was one of the fastest beings he had ever trained against, but otherwise his personality was a bit stiff. "He taught me a little bit of it, and I've picked up a little bit since then. He was great with sword, but he decided to charge an entire squad of enemy soldiers by himself. Learned a funny thing about getting an arrow with a wooden shaft in the heart". An hour later all four of them were packed and standing before the gates at the edge of the maze. The sun was still coming up over the east, they had plenty of time to explore the maze before sundown, when they hoped to either be out of it, or inside the castle. His axe was drawn, and all three of the others swords were out. "You guys cut up the garlic and make the necklaces like I showed you?" The other three grunted and showed the strings around the necks. "You edged the swords and arrows with silver?" At the Aidan turned to him, spit on the ground and said, "Fucking A man, and we have the stakes we carved with morning, yes we're ready." He took a deep breath, and pulled back the main gate and took the first step into the labyrinth. On both sides were a wall of tombstones and mausoleum's, that turned into unkept hedgerows about 50 feet in front of him. "Remember" he said as the others walked passed the gates, "Anything on the outside of the bigger ones is fair game, as well as anything inside the castle. Don't touch any of the tombstones, and don't go into any crypts, vaults or mausoleum's. There are going to be things out to hurt us, and lets try and keep their numbers to a minimum. He thought to himself, with a little luck they'd be very rich in a few hours. With lousy luck they'd be dead. Just another day really.
  6. You’re a pretty good writer man, welcome to Choisel. Excited to see what goes on. 

  7. Greenmntman

    Chateau De Choisel | ENTER AT RISK

    The four of them finally trudged to the giant steel gates. They were black as night, gothic, seemingly from another era. Aiden was not impressed. He looked over to the three men who accompanied him and only one looked remotely interested in finally arriving. Aiden was tired and thought to himself that it was fair to say that after hiking for several days in the middle of god-knows-where he was slightly cranky. The two sell swords – Max and Dustin - were fine, they had managed not to talk too much or ask too many questions since they had been hired two weeks ago. He had been traveling with the other one for the better part of ten years now though, and he had just been grating on him. Aiden put down the heavy crossbow, and looked up at the gate. There was strange lettering and many words he didn’t understand. This wasn’t a surprise, but he knew his buddy has managed to go to school all the way to age 18. That had qualified as a miracle in the farming territory they had both grown up in; it didn’t mean that for he had to pretend he knew everything though. That being said, Aiden happily let him study the gate and some of the crypts that stood outside of it. “Well, can you read how much treasure is in this place off of what the crypt says? It had better be worth it, a month to get here and back. I can see how you could sure that nobody would be living here, this place looks like it hasn’t seen a soul in 100 years.” Aiden walked down from the gate and started setting up his tent in the clearing a few hundred feet before the Chateau gates, when heard his companion hustle toward him, “Well?” he asked. “The good news is that the crypts are thousands of years old. I think it used to be owned by some sort of Lord. And I would think that there would be quite a bit of treasure and loot to find to make this worth our while.” He paused to stop and take off his black plate armor, and put down his one-handed battle-axe and shield. He slung the down magical sack from his shoulder which could expand to hold whatever he desired and took out some dry wood for a fire, a canteen and two whole ducks. Finally he turned to Aiden and said “The bad news is this – that language isn’t written in English, it’s vampire. And it also makes a clear warning about a maze that is directly beyond these gates, so I don’t think we are going to be able to just waltz in there. I am not sure if the vampires are still around, but we can edge the weapons in silver just in case tomorrow morning. We’ll make our way through the maze, up to the Chateau and if we see any vamps, we can see if they can be polite. If not, what’s one more dead monster?” “So insufferable” thought Aiden.
  8. 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?"
  9. 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."
  10. 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.”
  11. 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.
  12. 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..
  13. 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?”
  14. 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?”
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