Thursday, October 1, 2009

Chapter 5, Part 3: "Slaughter of the Cliff Bandits"

Part I Here, Part II Here, Part IV Here.

On the steep, narrow cliffside trail the band of adventurer's scramble off the backs of their mounts (their ornith's being untrained as war steeds, thus being unreliable and easily panicked in battle).

The two knots of filthy rag-clad Cliff Bandits, who were hiding at points both ahead of and behind the party's position, race forward waving their tarnished and battered weaponry.

While the weaker members of the party scurry and cower, the fighting-men form two defensive lines and soon a ferocious melee is occurring on two fronts. While some of the party have moderate success against the rabid transients, Monster Monagin, the self-declared "Fightingest Man in the Party" waves his polearm to no avail and Cliff Bandits swarm about him, nicking and jabbing at him with their rusty cutlery.

As the first wave of Cliff Bandit casualties spill their lifeblood and entrails upon the trail and over the cliff's edge into the howling Iridium Escarpment winds, Maggot Mort the mutant and sickly cripple with a withereed arm is emboldened by the carnage and joins the fray with his sword-knife, severing arteries and gutting foes with unnatural strength.

Several of the flea-infested brigands are slain by Maggot Mort while the battle rages about him, Monster Monagin hacking and spearing futiley as Cliff Bandits dodge his strikes, managing to only nick one of them. Meanwhile the resourceful Rodan cuts down four of the robbers and the showboating Buzz keeps the party's weak flank secure, lashing about with his magic two-handed sword.

One of the vermin dashes in close and lays Maggot Mort scalp open with a blow, rendering the unhealthy thief unconsious and bleeding vigourously from his malformed brow.

Soon all of the Cliff Bandits are rendered deceased, and an inventory of their pathetic possessions is made. Crude vermin-infested armor made from scraps and uncured hides; a pile of axes, falchions and crude morningstars bent and dulled by rough use and neglect; a pitiful heap of tarnished copper, brass and bronze tokens; and a rich velvet bundle, stained with dried blood.

The bloody package is opened, revealing two velvet pouches and a metal document tube. One pouch holds several large valuable smokey quartz crystals and the other holds wrought-gold amulets of abstract arabesque design on iridium chains, loot worth many gold credits.

The document tube is unscrewed and a scroll of purple metal is withdrawn. Dickie Dee casts his invisble eyes across the scroll and diserns that it contains several incantations that he could cast using the scroll or attempt to scribe into his grimoire, a rich prize for a Sorcerer such as he!

The companions tend Maggot Mort's wounds and sling him across the saddle of his bird-horse. Soon they arrive at Small Dust and take lodgin at the Red Beak Inn where they eat, drink, and squabble over the division of their unexpected windfall while Maggot Mort thrashes in an feverish delirium on a cot.

Part I Here, Part II Here, Part IV Here.

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