Monday, September 24, 2007


This was chapter co-written with The Dread Pirate Beldin. I hope you enjoy his special touches. :D

The team stood at the top of the tunnel as Kallo came fleeing towards them dragging Alison behind him by her hand. “Everyone,” Kallo shouted, “Get ready! They’re coming this way!”

Garness with his axe, Gurok sword and shield and hand, and Beldin now duel-wielding hexaguns stood grinning. Even Kammy who was apprehensive before was hungry for some action. Jumpingtaru on the other hand stood toward the back jumping up and down excitedly from a safer distance.


Gurok chuckled, “I like your style pirate. Maybe after all this is over we ca-“ He fell backwards as a bolt took him in the shoulder from somewhere down the tunnel.

“Gurok!” Alison screamed, dropping to the galka’s side as the others rushed forward. “Take him to the back so I don’t trip on him,” Garness ordered eyeing the raging mob approaching.

“I’ll fix it!” Kammy chirped in and hurried to bless Gurok with her healing magic.

Alison stood as a tear ran down her cheek. Her knives slid from her belt with a steely hiss and a vengeful fire burned within her. “I want him dead,” she growled, “I want Pete the Meat to suffer for what he did. His blood is mine.”

“You can have your theatrics later,” Beldin snapped, letting off a few rounds, “We’ve got a fight to survive at the moment”

The mob rushed forward soon over taking the party. Garness stood laughing as he fended off three humes with his gigantic axe taking each one down as if he were swatting flies. Foxx, despite his size, was going toe-to-toe with a Galka easily side-stepping his blows and chopping at his legs with his knives. Beldin stood more like a paladin than a corsair making quick thrusts with his rapier and slicing at those who came for him.

Pete the Meat charged through like an angry bull and straight towards Alison swinging a giant scythe over his head. Standing her ground with her teeth clinched angrily she met the murderer of her husband head on. With evasion only a thief could have, she moved gracefully to avoid his savage blows not allowing him any satisfaction.

Frothing at the mouth in rage Pete continued to swing wildly, forcing Alison to retreat backwards to avoid the massive weapon. Catching her heel on a stone jutting up from the rocking floor she fell back unable to catch herself until her hands hit the floor.

Pete, an evil and insane glint in his eyes, grinned as he prepared to deliver a deadly blow. “Peace of cake.” He sneered. “Weak, just like your dead lover.”

Rolling forward she evaded his strike as his scythe sent chunks of rock flying from the force of the impact. Pete the Meat roared as only a galka can as the cold steal of her dagger bit into his belly and split his blood. She pushed up hard to slice through him. “Doesn’t feel good does it?” She hissed angrily.

Picking her up by her vest he lifted her into the air. His dark magic was draining the strength from her body in a visible channel of death. “I’ll break you with my bare hands if I have to.” He spat. “You’re nothing but an annoying little rodent in need of extermination.”

Gurok charged at Pete the Meat driving his sword into his bicep causing him to drop Alison at his feet as he howled in pain. “I don’t think so. She won’t be harmed as long as I still live.”

Beldin caught the scene out of the corner of his eye and joined in. “You stupid son of a mangy hound,” he swore through his teeth. You say you’re looking for the killer of your brother, well he’s right here!”

Beldin blocked a swing of the dark knight’s scythe with his rapier and flung it aside knocking Pete the Meat off balance. Then, with Pete’s guard wide open, Alison stood and shoved her knife to the hilt into the scar on Pete’s throat and gave a forceful twist.

Clutching his throat in an all too familiar scene he tried to staunch the flow, but it was futile.

“I loved him.” Alison cried out painfully as she watched Pete the Meat gasp for his last breaths. Overwhelmed with emotions she fell to her knees as the fight continued around her. Resting a hand on her shoulder Kjarbo watched protectively in case someone were to break through the circle her friends formed around her.

“Not a good time for resting sweetheart.” Gurok muttered over his shoulder as he used his foot to thrust an evlaan’s limp body off of his long blade.

Kammy took the chance to jump wildly on the fallen evlaan. “I got this one! He’s dead!” she shouted triumphantly. “Oh, and I’ve drained all my magic to keep you strong. I have next to nothing left. You should hurry up and be done soon.”

“Taru down!” Martin called as he tossed Jumpingtaru into Kammy’s arms.

“Oh yuckie!” Dropping him promptly onto the hard floor she looked appalled as she tugged at her tunic to examine the blood that was sure to leave a stain. “I already said I can’t fix him now. Let me rest a few minutes.”

“I could use a little help with these two.” Foxx announced. Tastywaffles sent a pugil to bite down hard on a taru bandit and shook the poor red mage right off his feet.

The battle continued on in a whirl-wind around her but she didn’t really notice. Sitting in a stupor she felt nothing but her chest rising and falling with each breath. It’s hard to say how long it took before she heard Kallo’s voice.

“Anyone hurt?” Kallo asked, surveying the field.

“They are,” Martin snickered.

Tastywaffles’ pugil pet snaked through the area ensuring that no one from the heartless gang would rise to strike again that day.

“No time to talk you fools,” Foxx snapped looking down the tunnel, “Here comes the rest of them!”

The entire team turned and stood in awe at the fifty or more bandits that flooded the tunnel.

“Oh I think it’s time to go now!” Jenjen said as she shifted nervously.

“Agreed.” Kjarbo said as he grabbed his sister’s hand and pulled Alison to her feet.

The entire team turned and fled back. Garness lifted tiny Jumpingtaru onto his shoulder away from the onslaught. They raced up the tunnels but Beldin stopped by the Golden Door as the other ran past him.

“Beldin!” Garness shouted. “Bad time for sight seeing.”

“Alison, I’ll fend them off and give the rest of you time to escape.” Beldin turned to Jenjen with a smile and a wink, “Jenn, I love you.” Kissing her quickly he pushed her into Kjarbo’s arms.

“WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING BELDIN!” Foxx shouted as he paused to turn and yell.

Beldin drew his rapier and grinned widely as he crouched slightly to wait. Turning towards Garness he spoke, “I want you to get them out of here as fast as you can, and please, watch over Jenn for me.”

Garness opened his mouth to say something but changed his mind and clamped it shut with a nod. Turning he pushed at the rest of the team to keep running.

Looking back over her shoulder as Beldin shut the Golden Door, “Garness…” Alison muttered questioningly.

“Run now, talk later.” he barked as he leapt over a bounder rather nimbly for a galka.

The party of friends had not gotten much further before the entire tunnel shook as a massive explosion rocked the mountain and the team was thrown to the floor. Everyone stared back down the tunnel they had just run through…

“What in Exarcabard was that-taru?” Jumpingtaru demanded, rubbing his head where a rock had assaulted him.

“Beldin…” Garness panted, “The fool…. He….”

“He blew up the tunnel,” Martin finished for him. “He blew up the tunnel and
all those who were chasing us.”

“We’ve gotta help him,” Jenjen screeched, tears flowing down her face as
Kjarbo took her in his arms to hold her back from running to the unstable rubble.

“There’s no use.” Kjarbo said quietly. “Nothing could have survived that.”

A stunned silence hung over them all as they realized the sacrifice that had just been made.

Kallo cleared his throat, “We’re not outta the woods yet folks. There could be more of them. I think we are done here.”

Friday, September 14, 2007

Nothing Like Cookies

“So what did you do?” I asked

Looking a little annoyed he tried to shush me with an angry glance.

“That bad?” I continued.

“Nooooo, we’re trying to be sneaky and you’re running your mouth like a woman.” He replied.

“I know what I can get away with and she’s too far ahead to notice us. She’s a hume and too busy talking to herself to hear us.”

“Nosey.” He mumbled under his breath as he watched the woman sit down and open her bag. She pulled out what I hoped was some kind of jerky though from the distance it was hard to know any more than it looked icky. Nothing like cookies. “Of course she has to stop and eat.” Kallo said looking exasperated.

“In a rush?” I asked.

“Well yes. I’m hungry and I don’t want to be here all day. I have stuff to do too.” He grumbled like a pouting child.

“Get a little cranky when you’re hungry don’t you.” I smiled and handed him sushi and biscuits. He was kind of likable in a childish sort of way. Without even looking away from the monk he popped them in his mouth eagerly.

“Sorry.” He said flatly.

“It’s ok.. I shouldn’t be so nosey. I like my secrets too.”

The monk stood up and started walking again. She was still talking though this time I think it was to a linkshell. “It was twelve against two! I can’t be blamed for not being able to handle more than five by myself. Maybe if I had better equipment. I need a bigger cut. I don’t get enough for all I do.” She grumbled at them. Pausing at a wall she pushed hard against the stone revealing a small entrance.

“Bingo” I said.

Kallo gave me a curious look. “A what?”

“Never mind. I guess it’s time to pull them all out.” Grabbing my arm and pulling me against him, Kallo smiled a devilish grin as he pushed my hair away from my face.

“Let me go make sure Pete the Meat is actually in there before you bring the entire group down on us. We don’t even know how many there are.”

Pulling free from him I nodded and turned away from him to watch the door.

“I’ll be right back Doll.” He said as he tugged my pony tail and walked into the room like he had been there before.

It did occur to me that maybe this was a trap and I should run now before he tried to turn me over to the gang. He seemed just a little too confident. Shifting nervously as I thought over all the horrible things that could go wrong. I settled on my trust in Washu and held my ground but kept my body angled towards my friends so I could take off quickly if needed.

It seemed like forever I waited there. I couldn’t hear or see anything that gave me any clues to what I was missing. He could have been killed as soon as he stepped inside for all I knew. He did seem like a bit of a fool.

“Run run run!” he shouted as he hopped out of the hole like a rabbit with his tail on fire. Behind him two galka were lodged in the door as they tried to come out at the same time. I stood stunned for a moment as I realized it was Pete the Meat snarling like a wild dog. In my mind I could see Brodie’s eyes as he looked at me shocked and panicked and the feelings from that day washed painfully over me.

Grabbing my arm hard for the second time that day he nearly pulled me off my feet. “Do you not know what run means? Now would be a good time.” Kallo yelled.

“He’s here.” I said a little shocked though I don’t know why. It was what I think I was hoping for.

“Yes, that has been confirmed. Now is not the time to chat it over.”

Snapping out of it I dug my toes into the loose gravel and ran hard for my friends. This was the time for it all to be finished I hoped.

*Image by the amazing Krilldog*

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Battle of Jumpingtaru

I feel I must tell you I was not actually here to witness this part of the story as I was busy with the group at the gold door at the time. I am telling you how it was told to me from various points of view that I have patched together to form one telling. I am rather suspect about some of the details but I’m sure its close enough to call history. Let me begin.

Jumpingtaru came running. The tiny taru warrior looked panic stricken as he stumbled over the rocky terrain. “I’m here-taru!” he shouted. “I want to helpy-welp…” Coming up behind him was quite possibly every monster and beastman from the entire cavernous area. “but get these things offy-wawfy me first!” Jumpingtaru dove behind Garness the great towering galka, a sharp contrast in size from the taru. Pulling out his little axes the taru put on his meanest face. “Come and get-taru me now beastie-weesties!”

“What did you do you fool?” Foxx said with a twisted angry glare.

“I did not a thing-taru wrong. They attack-tarued me without-taru reason-weeson.” Jumpingtaru stuttered. He usually didn’t use taru speak outside of his home land unless he was exceptionally nervous. The back of his trousers where shredded from the attempts of the creatures to stop him for a proper stomping and he must have narrowly made it.

During all this chitter-chatter the monsters had gathered in a great herd in front of the group of friends. Snarling and speaking to each other in their tongue I’m sure they were discussing their great fortune to have the band so hopelessly outnumbered.

“Stand together!” Garness demanded as he readied his great axe and took a defensive stance.

Gentle Kjarbo sword in hand had already been casting his best defensive spells on his friends in preparation for the inevitable battle. His mithran sister stood with her tail looped around his knee cracking her knuckles in anticipation of a good fight.

With a roll of dice Beldin announced with a pleased look on his face, “Luck is with us today. This will be easy.”

“Die or run for your lives beasts.” Garness growled as he led the charge meeting a cluster of thick shelled big claws and bowling them over like child’s toys. Like a blue ocean wave they rose up to try to overpower him. Garness whipped his great axe around his body in a cyclone of steal cracking the shells of the snapping creatures and sending crab parts and fluids flying in every direction. Alive with excitement Garness was all achatter. "RAAWWWWWWWW" "Damn you" "PINCH MY TAIL WILL YOU!?! EAT STEEL!!!"


"RAAWWRRR" "Hunh? YOU WANT SOME TOO" "Dammit Fox, that's my Tail not a shuagin's. Quit jabbing it with those thumb tacks you call a dagger!"

“At least twenty down by my hand.” Garness announced triumphantly. “How is everyone doing?” he asked, the thrill of the fight apparent in is voice.

Foxx pulled a sata attack from behind Garness and grumbled something about appreciation of thieves as another Sahagin fell to his blade.

“Fifty at least” Beldin called back as he shot another down from the back of the group. “I lost count honestly.”

“The lies!” Jenjen spat as her dragon kick sent a pugil flying towards Beldin at blinding speeds slapping its wet body hard against his nearly knocking him from his feet.

“You only do so well because you have Beldin and me to enfeeble the little beasties and magically super charge you.” Kjarbo smiled the pleasure of the fight evident in his face even over the intense concentration.

The pile of bodies was forming a great wall between the heroes and the flood of angry beasts yet the fish-like creatures and crabs continued to creep over their fallen comrades to take a shot at spilling blood.

Deciding to take a more offensive stance Foxx raced up the back of Garness as he was hunched over slightly after an especially hard swing. Leaping from Garness’ shoulders he flipped head over heals in a blinding flash of daggers and landed in the middle of a group of sahagin. With a cyclone attack half of the group where finished and the other half where easily taken down by the blades of the fearless party.

They were winning the battle of bad odds but even with Kjarbo working hard to keep the group fresh they were tiring. It was perfect timing for the coppery tentacles of a sea monk to creep over the pile of warm bodies. Everyone already had their hands full on the last of the creatures and hardly noticed as it wrapped a powerful tentacle around the tiny body of Jumpingtaru. “A littl-taru help please!” he shrieked as it slapped his tiny body against the floor.

“I got it!” Jenjen shouted as she turned to attack the creature ten times her size. Leaping onto its head she aimed her punches at its tender eyes causing it to buck up and shriek angrily. Dropping the tarutaru on his ample little bottom it focused its attention on the mithra riding it.

“Weeeee!” Jenjen shouted as she grabbed hold to ride wildly around the small space.

Beldin took aim. “Hold still gorgeous. I’ll shoot it down.”

Wide eyed Kjarbo leapt at Beldin knocking him too the ground but it was too late. The shot was fired in the chaos. Gasping from the shock of it Jenjen grabbed her thigh and fell from the beast as blood saturated her koshita.

Panic stricken Kjarbo and Beldin stumbled over each other to get to her. “Look what you did.” “Idiot” “Fool” “Son of a Dhamel” and other such statements where hollered by both but it was tiny Foxx who took care of it. Sneaking behind the sea monk he sliced it to sushi sized bits in a furry of swinging daggers.

Scooping his sister up in his arms Kjarbo cast healing magic and held her close.

“I wouldn’t have missed.” Beldin grumbled angrily as he looked over her with remorseful eyes.

“Good warm up but we have already taken too long to bother with resting. Time to pick up and get going.” Garness said as if he had not even seen the mishap. Slinging his axe over his shoulder he headed off towards the gold door. Once again assuming they would naturally follow soon enough.

*This story written with help from Garness the Great.