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 PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2003 2:32 am    Post subject: Of Goblins and Rogues Reply with quote Back to top

I wanted to start this new free-for-all story because I love goblins and rogues. Also, the forum seems dead, not many people are writing stories these days.

Coroth, a goblin fighter, moved around inside his hovel. It was located outside of the goblin fortress, part of the goblin settlement near Krolm's Anvil. "Where's my short sword?" he grumbled. "Oh, here it is." He slashed his sword a couple turns and slid it back into his scabbard, then he pushed the flap of his stinking house and walked towards the fortress where there were sounds of rowdiness and merriment.

"Gilith, you stinkin cheat! You punched me twice!"
Coroth had entered a tent on the perimeters of the fortress and the goblins inside were playing knucklecrush. Goblin crews brought this violent game back from the watchtowers and now it was played everywhere.
"Soften your tone, and calm your anger, my friend Jendor, tis but a game and rules can be rules but I find it more interesting breaking them!" The goblin archer, Gilith, cackled at this and slapped his knees. The wooden table they were sitting at suddenly flipped over and Jendor looked infuriated. The goblin champion loomed over Gilith and he reached for Gilith's crude bow and snapped it in half. "How do you like that, archer?"
"Fiddlesticks, I can fashion another," replied Gilith.
Then Jendor grabbed the archer's arm, to his surprise, and snapped that in half. "Fashion yourself another arm, archer."
"GAAAHHH!!!!" Gilith howled in pain as he looked at his arm, bone broken through his bumpy green skin. The goblin group gasped in amazement and suddenly went wild. They laughed and laughed as Gilith quickly left the tent.
"How ya doin, Jendor?" said Coroth in his raspy goblin voice, who saw the whole thing.
"That stinkin cheat, he knew he was about to lose to a champion," was all Jendor could reply.

[ 09. January 2003, 02:23 AM: Message edited by: Vizzerdrix ]
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Raistlin, Archmagus

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 PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2003 9:07 pm    Post subject: Of Goblins and Rogues Reply with quote Back to top

The brown hood was pulled low over her head as she made her way through the dirtied alleyways of Krolms Anvil. It was a filthy place, but on native to the area would have no qualms with it; those born in the past two or three decades (as she was) had never seen Krolm's Anvil in its glory days. In truth, the city had never been as lovely as others, but it had been a sight. It was still a sight, but more one to scoff at.

The day was cold, and Aislin pulled her cloak closer. The scraps she wore would not be enough to keep her warm during winter, and the gods knew the rogues guild wouldn't stand for an apprentice warming herself by the fire.

She came upon a small hut, where some rogues had stashed treasure. There was a mutual agreement among them all thatif one's treasure went missing, the others would all be taken to a thieves folkmoot. It was rare - there was honour among thieves - but, occasionally, it would happen.

Stepping inside, Aislin had to duck to keep from hitting her head on te roof. She headed toward her area of the room, where her own stash was hidden. she took out a key and opened a small box, into wich she dropped three half silver nobles.

She grimaced. At this rate, she'd freeze - or staarve - before the coming of Spring. Agrela willing, she'd tough it out. Before leaving, Aislin paused to warm herself slightly in the relative warmth of the hut. She lifted hands that had white bandages wrapped around them to her mouth, breathing hot air onto them. A thief with stiff fingers was a caught thief. The bandages helped to keep her warm, sometimes, but today they did litte good.

The rogue left the hut, and made her trundling way through the town, towards the outskirts. She loved her proffesion; the danger of it all was a thrill, and adreneline rush. The only problem waas that she was not yet good enough to steal much. She carried a very small dagger with her that would be used to slit a passerby's purse open, but sometimes it was hard to keep up with the person long enough to get the last of their gold.

Passing the city's temple to Agrela, she touched the side of her cheek in respect.

Perhaps, if she found a few monsters about, - or, better yet, dead monsters - she could loot the, of their gold. If someone else hadn't reached them first.
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 PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2003 9:36 pm    Post subject: Of Goblins and Rogues Reply with quote Back to top

Near the Anvil of Krolm, screened from the hostile region by low hills, rested the village of Zamets. Except that the village was not very restful this night. Lord Zametski was dead, and the Peasants all knew the institution responsible.
Yan Zametski, Guildmaster of the Noble Guild of Rogues, stood at the window of the Guild's workshop with a spyglass to his eye. "They're taking pikes from the Guardhouses," he observed.
"What would they want with them?" asked Yeremi Olinski innocently from his position at the worktable, where he sat fiddling with one of his contraptions.
"How many times must I explain this?" said Yan patiently. "Our serene Prince Stephan has been kiled by a poisoned bolt in the back. It is common knowledge that we gentlemen of the Guild use crossbows and poisons. Therefore, the lowborn mind naturally leaps to the conclusion that we had something to do with it. The serene Prince being a favourite due to his unseemly fraternization with them, his death strikes them hard. They in turn mean to strike us hard, in revenge."
"But you didn't kill him!" exclaimed Yeremi. "Did you?" he added uncertainly.
"Of course not. I may not have liked the man - may the gods reward him! - but I wouldn't slay my own blood. As you probably have forgotten, Stephan is a cousin of mine."
"Bah!" said a third voice from the corner. There sat Dominik Arykhets, atop a large pile of sacks and chests. "They're after my money. My money!"
"Don't deceive yourself," whispered a fourth voice. All three jumped and looked about, not having noticed the shadowy figure in their midst. Like his namesake, the Rogue who called himself Wraith was not to be detected unless he so willed. "These dogs have blood on their minds, not gold."
"Bah!" repeated Dominik. "You're just jealous, you penniless shadow!"
"Penniless?" mocked Wraith. Dominik's eyes narrowed, an evil light awakening in them.
"You'd better not have stolen anything," he muttered.
"Don't trouble yourself," Wraith returned. "I received a large amount of gold from my last client, that is all."
"What do you mean?" asked Yan, turning from the window. "Who hired you to do what?"
"I do not know the person's name," answered the muffled voice, "but the job was simple: to kill our 'serene Prince'."
"You might have told me before," admonished the Guildmaster sternly.
"You didn't ask."
"You should have asked him!" cut in Yeremi angrily. "After all, he was his relative."
"What of it?"
The little discussion was cut short by a loud cry from the village below the hill where the Guild sat.
"Destruction! Death to the red shirts! Destruction to them!"
"My money!" howled Dominik, clutching a bag of the same.
"We'd better lay our plans fast," said Yan. "Yeremi, break out the repeaters." The named Rogue hurried to do that. Soon all four were armed with the repeaters, which were crossbows modified by Yeremi so that they formed many bolts without needing to be reloaded.
"Good. Now, these are to be used only as a last measure."
"What do you intend to do?" inquired Wraith.
"Treat with them?" asked Yeremi. "Buy them off?" At this, Dominik shot him a vemonous look and clutched his moneybags still tighter.
"No. We are going to use an ancient and revered Rogue tactic: we run."
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 PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2003 9:09 am    Post subject: Of Goblins and Rogues Reply with quote Back to top

Nieshef reflected that two people rise to the top in any society: the cream, and the scum.
It was, nonetheless, odd to find them intermixing.
Take the Zametskies, for example. Three hundred years ago their ancestor had come to Krolm's Anvil to loot caravans, nestling his bandits and felons in the great enfolding lap of the hills, and siphoning from the thread of wealth that ran between the settlement and the distant flatlands, the hive of commerce and corruption to which he yearned to return. Nonetheless, such an exile was to prove both permanent and self-imposed.
Nieshef turned to the copper basin, etched with sigils of immense significance to all of GrumGog's children. Specifically, they signified the holy retribution of Nieshef. They had no significance to Nieshef that she was aware of, but then, that wasn't the point- she made a point of engraving ominous-looking sigils anywhere possible. The less comprehensible, the better.
She washed her hands briskly.
Iymenvor Zametski grew rich on the profits of banditry, and soon turned his hand to more lucrative, substantial, and less demanding thievery- taxation, for example. Lands, deeds, titles, he aquired through a combination of influence, extortion, bribery, blackmail, assassination, and, as a last resort, armed warfare. As this last means was the only to perturb the peasantry's livelihood, he gained a reputation for even-handed benevolence, particularly after the execution of most of his former henchmen after an attempted coup d'etat. They just couldn't kick the habit.
So the big thieves hang the little ones, reflected Nieshef.
Nieshef fished out a drowned rat lodged within the bowl's handles and inspected it for any open or bleeding sores. The plague was losing ground in the population, going by appearances.
Still, no cause for carelessness.
A long handled sacrificial knife, that looked better designed for leverage and incision than thrust and parry, was lifted from a recess on the wall and used to slit open the rodent, from tail to throat. The rat had not eaten for at least eight days.
Overcrowding, perhaps had lead to starvation and susceptibility to illness. This might merit looking into.
Where was it? Oh yes, Zametski had sent his elder son to the flatlands while he administrated over his aquisitions- thus fondly would he ever refer to his barony- to learn the refinements of a gentleman and gather the aquaintances needed for real influence in the capital. Eynorvin, the third son, acompanied him.
The secondborn remained in Zamet and founded the long-running dynasty that had persisted until two and a half days ago. At 8 hours past midnight, to be exact. He, in the best family tradition, had been generally popular.
The names of the firstborn and younger son, were... yes, Loquendo- a name the father had felt smacked of distinction, and whom six months away from home was stabbed fatally eleven times, and- and... oh, yes;
"I am certain it was... drat and burn, no. No, I can't remember. I can't remember it."
Exhasperated, she blew out the candle with an explosive sneeze, and took a second though the woven curtain parted by her passage. The hearth was almost extinguished, where flattened bread would bake on scarlet embers in the early morn.
"Yes, you irreverant dog's ejection!?"
"'umble apologies, your reverence, I did not thrice turn and bless myself with the waters of p.."
"Shut up and tell me, then."
"'umble apologies, as Gilith has some need of attention. 'yer reverence."
"Jendor." She nodded. "Can he move?"
"Yes, 'y reverence. I tol' him to watch his manner."
"With me or Jendor, Coroth?"
"Eh, yes, miss."
"You're smarter than you look, Coroth."
"thank ye mi- y'reverinns. I think."

[ 19. January 2003, 01:49 AM: Message edited by: Alfryd, disciple of Krolm. ]
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Raistlin, Archmagus

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 PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2003 10:10 pm    Post subject: Of Goblins and Rogues Reply with quote Back to top

She'd been walking for at least an hour, or so it felt. Aislin wrapped her arms around herself, rubbing them up and down. The wind had picked up, cold and bitter.

The rogue was nearing a small town, now. She could see the outskirts of it far away, coming closer as she waled. Perhaps she'd just find shelter there for the night, and go back on the morrow.

Aislin shivered, and looked up from where she'd been staring at the ground. The night's start had been the most uneventful she'd yet seen, but there was always the chance it could liven up.

There were figures running towards her. Armed figures. With hands that shook in excitement, Aislin drew her dagger, and dashed into the shadows of a nearby tree. Whether they meant well or otherwise, she might be able to take a few coins off them.
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 PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2003 3:52 pm    Post subject: Of Goblins and Rogues Reply with quote Back to top

The four fleeing Rogues paused in their headlong flight. They must have run a mile. Feeling somewhat safe, they stopped to rest.
"What are the peasants doing?" demanded Yan. Yeremi, who being the strongest bore most of the supplies including necessary equipment, undid one of the packs and produced a telescope. He peered back toward the town, as did Yan and Dominik. The latter collapsed into a weeping heep, the former gritting his teeth. They did not need the spy-glass to tell them what the smoke meant.
"They're looting the Guild," said Yeremi in shock. "And burning it!"
"Obviously," said Yan caustically. "But are they coming this way?"
"No, they seem pretty occupied with our valuables."
Dominik sent up a scream which could doubtless be heard in beyond the distant mountains. "My money!" he cried. "My poor money! Defiled! Pawed over by those dogs! Those swine! I'll kill them all!"
"Calm down," ordered Yan sternly. "Even if you had to leave the greater part of your hoard behind, you're still carrying a king's ransom." True enough; Dominik had several large sacks over his shoulders, and these of course were filled with gems, coins, and sundry other valuables. Still it did not pacify him, and the miserly Rogue sank into alternately moaning over his lost riches and growling about the dire vengeance he'd exact.
Yan looked around. "Where's that cursed Assasin? May Krypta take him! May the thunderbolts of Krolm -"
"I am here," whispered the cold voice. He came out from behind a nearby tree, holding up a struggling figure.
"Gods preserve us!" exclaimed Yeremi. "That's a girl!"
"And a Rogue," said the Wraith.
"And a commoner," finished Yan, eyeing her with distaste as Wraith set her down. She bound and gagged. It was very efficiently done, Yan admitted; no doubt Wraith was the best of the best. But he was also as feeling as an iceberg. "Well, don't just stand there gawking, Yeremi. Ungag the wretch, and see what she has to say for herself."
Yeremi hurried to obey, and soon Aislin was ungagged - and unbound, though Yan hadn't told Yeremi to do that. The Guildmaster shook his head.
Aislin stood up. She looked at her captors. The three before her were red tunics and hoods, a Guildmaster's insignia on one. Yan indeed looked daunting: tall and aristocratic, with an imperious gaze unusually for even the leaders among Rogues. His tunic and hose were fine silk; his armour highly polished. Quite a contrast to the other two. Yeremi was wide of shoulder but not especially tall; round face and innocent expression made him look a fool. His tunic and the short cape he wore bulged with pockets full of odd devices, and his clothes were covered in patches and stains. Dominik was simply short, and darker than the other two. His clothes, though fine, were old and not well kept up. Currently he was perched atop his treasure bags, like a dragon on its hoard.
Totalluy contrasting was the man to her side. Tall, though not as much as Yan, he seemed deadlier than all three of his Guildmates put together. rather then red-and-brown, his vesture was ice-grey. A long black cloak covered him, andbetwen a hood pulled over his hood and a black cloth around his face all that could be seen of him there were his eyes, which peered out coldly.
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Raistlin, Archmagus

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 PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2003 5:16 pm    Post subject: Of Goblins and Rogues Reply with quote Back to top

Aislin was all too glad to be rid of the bondages. The man had taken her completely by surprise, coming up behind her without so much as a sound. Before she'd known what happened, she was gagged and bound.

Standing before the four men was cowing, to say the least. She shivered, but resisted wrapping her arms around herself. They looked like rogues...Almost. That one, the tall one, he looked like a richman, a noble.

She looked them all up and down in turn.
"Who are you?" Her voice was steadier than she felt. "What are you doing here?" Her voice writthed with distaste. She wasn't much fond of these men. A commoner! She wasn't a commoner! At least, she wasn't compared to others she'd seen at times.

Her eyes moved to Dominik. Aislin lifted an eyebrow at his antics. Most rogues were protective of their treasure - her included - but he was a bit...much.

"What do you want?"
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 PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2003 8:00 pm    Post subject: Of Goblins and Rogues Reply with quote Back to top

"We are Rogues," replied Yeremi, blissfully unaware of Yan's scowl. "We're running away from the crazed Peasants back there, and we want to get away from here alive. How do you do?"
"Curb your tongue," snapped Yan. He continued studying the girl. He sighed. "Well, now that our inventor has told you everything else, I might as well introduce us. I am Lord Yan Zametski, Guildmaster of the Noble Guild of Rogues in Zamets . . ." he paused, thinking ". . . and, come to think of it, Prince of Zamets, as well since my cousin died, gods rest him." He indicated Yeremi. "This is Pan* Yeremi Olinski, a waif whom I found begging for bread in the streets. He has a knack for mechanical contraptions, but not much else in the way of brains."
"How do you do?" repeated Yeremi, smiling beatifically.
"This," Yan continued, both frowning at Yeremi and gesturing to Dominik, "is Pan Dominik Arykhets, our Guild's Treasurer."
"Keep away from my money," snarled Dominik hoarsely.
"And that," concluded Yan, "is the Wraith, or simply Wraith. He has never condescended to tell us his real name."
"Pleased to meet you," whispered Wraith sarcastically. "And now, Guildmaster, we had better be going. Those peasants will be getting drunk on your vodka, and they are bloodthirsty enough already."
"Ah, yes," returned Yan loftily. "I had already thought of that. And girl, you had best come with us. The cattle will not notice the fine distinction between their own native Rogues and yourself."
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Shifty Coindrop

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 PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 4:44 am    Post subject: Of Goblins and Rogues Reply with quote Back to top

A quiet shadow draped heavily within a traveller's cloak and cowl shuffled through the streets of Zamet with a casual stroll, yet he did not exist even for a second in the minds of the revenge and greed-driven horde of Peasants who were pillaging the local eyesore. The cowl shook his head with tragedy, well aware of what that mockery of property value really was even as he sidestepped subtly and politely for more peasants who were adding to the obligatory Angry Mob. Except for one passing woman whose shoulder he grabbed to her squeaked startle.

A finger lifted to the edge of the cowl over unseen lips briefly before an almost jaded tone asked her a question. "What's going on over there?"

"You mean that bonfire o'er there good Sir?" the woman was barely patient, eager to join in the fray. "Those bastards bolted our dear Prince Stephan in the back and there's gonna be hell to pay. Now if you'll excuse me I want to spread some of the wealth for meself before everyone else cleans it out." And with that she rushed off towards the Guild like a moth to flame.


Ayup. This is starting to look like a fine dandy vacation.

I dunno why Stu insisted I take time off from work. This was too subtle and lengthy to be a set-up, and we got along too well for that kind of sordid subterfuge. "You haven't taken time off in months," I remember him just like it was yesterday. Come to think of it, it
was yesterday. "For the love of Fervus you haven't even gone over to the Flipping Coin lately."

"I'm waiting for them to refurnish the Wheels and card tables."

"Look, I discussed this with Master Ian and frankly we both agree you need to unwind on your own for a bit." Stu was the Second in Command after Ian, and he's one of the few who actually used brains and talent to make it that far.

"I've done this for years. I don't need anything other than eat and sleep."

"Which you haven't gotten at all. Come on Coindrop, a few more weeks like this and you'll have the
Crazies staring at you nervously."

He had a point there, at least that's what my eyes, stomach and nerves all told me. "Fine. But I'm not making this a habit."

"Maybe you should. You don't squeeze the best Brothers out like a lemon without letting them breathe for a while."

"I think I'll take a hike over to Krolm's Anvil. Check out the sights, check out the cuisine, check out the competetion-"

"No business Coindrop. This is strictly leisure."

"I promise Stu." I think that was the best oath I had. Holding up my right hand made it feel more authentic too.

"Oh and if you're headed over to Krolm's Anvil, might want to try a night or two at the Belching Barbarian. Best Roasted Roc in the region, and it's owned by a cousin of Snict and Two-Gold."

"Heh. I didn't know they had relatives."

Living relatives."

That earned him a snort from Yours Truly. "I'll see you around Stu."

Anyways, I go for a scenic detour through the little village of Zamet for an overnight stay and I get welcomed by a pillage party. From what I remember, this was Zametski's turf. Kind of appropriate they named the place after his family. He was some fancypants nobleman who ended up getting his hands dirty in "commoners' business" due to Circumstances Beyond His Control. Relations with his association and ours are neutral at best, give and take the usual occupational hazards of the trade. And now either he was dead or more likely taking a... vacation of his own elsewhere. Smart thing given how his club apparently snuffed the Prince of Krolm's Anvil. Which meant the locals would probably be out looking for any Brother to string up like a battle standard.

Good thing I'm going incognito for the moment.

Some vacation this is turning out to be.

[ 16. January 2003, 04:51 AM: Message edited by: Shifty Coindrop ]
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 PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 7:09 am    Post subject: Of Goblins and Rogues Reply with quote Back to top

The ultimate aim of the Priestess of Krypta, she thought herself, is not the extinction of life, but rather, to swell the ranks of the dead. Consequently, our aim is to extend the prevelance of life in general while shortening lives. Even the Grim Reaper should duly tend his crop.
"You should have come to me first when this happened."
"Yes miss. Gilith wouldn't come."
Nieshef turned her attention to the floor. Raising her voice, she said:
"You're a witless oaf, Gilith, and I've always said so."
The archer writhed on the waxen straw, contorted in acute discomfort. A repressed shriek left his lips drawn.
"If you could combine that stupidity with cowardice, now, life'd be that much easier for all concerned. Shut up- or I'll break the other one."
Infection was somewhere between likely and certain here. If the bone had ripped the skin, deep rot might leave him crippled, emaciated, or, odds were, dead inside a few days. "As it is, you haven't the guile, the brawn, or gold for aggression, which only proves that you're a bloody fool."
Nieshef found it was often useful to constantly berate the patient on his or her misfortune. If they took umbrage, they were probably faking it. If they really needed the attention, they mostly found it therapeutic. Gilith offered no response at all.
With a forceful twist and grunt, the snapped bone was locked into place. Gilith blinked slowly, then erupted in screaming pain. Nieshef blinked slowly, and rose from her haunches. And brushed off her robes.
"I could ease the pain a bit, but he'd only black out." she pronounced to the warrior. "I'll need to keep him howling if I can. Splints, cloth, water. Start a fire."
Coroth sent for the materials. The priestess gathered the hems of her robe around her and remembered the three fur blankets she could have been under now, mindful of the chill. "Oh, suffer for this, Gilith. Suffer long and hard, now."
"Miss, we should take him t' Krolm's Anvil, 'f you'll pardon my imper-impertin- rudeness."
"To the Temple of Agrela?"
"Ye's miss. They'd know how to fix it, miss."
Nieshef paused, held up a gnarled digit and said in measured tones;
"You know as a devotee of Krypta I cannot possibly ignore or, let alone sanction, such infidelity to the Eternal Mistress."
"Yes miss."
"I might, however, lapse somewhat in my vigilance over my flock's conduct, in a moment of weakness- for which I would give due penance and lament...."
"Thank you miss."
"... for the sorry sons of bitches who'd dared to think they could catch me napping." She carefully avoided the warrior's gaze.
"I understand miss."
"That's, your reverence, Coroth."
"I'm sorry, mi-"
"Not yet, you're not." She paused, lanced anything obviously festering, cleaning the wound with 'spitter bile. "Now get out."
She applied an herbal poultice, swaddling it in cloth and splints (sigils, and runes, plenty of them, ominous,) before two young warriors, both from Gilith's family, hauled the archer to his feet and made for the door. She would burn the straw before accompanying them to Krolm's Anvil.

[ 16. January 2003, 06:23 PM: Message edited by: Alfryd, disciple of Krolm. ]
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 PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 7:28 pm    Post subject: Of Goblins and Rogues Reply with quote Back to top

Jendor was standing outside the tent as Coroth, Gilith, and his family came out. "What are you doing?"
"We're takin' em to Krolm's Anvil so we can fix him up at the Agrela shrine," replied Coroth.
"Are you f*cking (there's a word for that in Grumium) out of your damned mind?! The moment you step in a human establishment, they'll hunt you down like rodents on a cracker!" Jendor screamed. "And what does this good-fer-nothing cheat deserve to be healed for. We're all war goblins here. Some may get hurt, some may die, but no one really gives a f*ck."
Just then, Nieshef stepped out from the tent. A draft of burning straw passed them. "Jendor, I am the one that agreed for Gilith to be healed."
Across the camp, a giant figure was walking towards them. He was holding a gigantic battleaxe. "What the f*ck is goin' on, here?!"
The goblins quickly bowed to their overlord, Simesoth. He was a goblin overlord and he ran the goblin fortress. He was also the leader of all the other overlords that looked over other fortresses. So he was the head overlord, a type of general that controlled the current warband. "There are many camps out there and goblins are getting killed left and right," he began to say. "My Lord! Can't you scraggly idiots understand that goblins die all the time because the filthy Ardanians are so strong?" Simesoth had a certain vibe that his people quickly followed to. "Look at this pathetic archer. What's the matter with all of you, a broken arm is a f*ckin broken arm. My champion was correct, the people of Krolm's Anvil will slaughter you. Now get a move on, you bunch of idiots!" Simesoth left the scene.
Morbidity, who was Gilith's father who was also his uncle, looked at Gilith. Goblin family lines are truely disgusting and full of incest. "Sorry, son. Simesoth was right. We're gonna have to let that arm heal itself. Nieshef, can you gather some rootleaf, to speed up his healing?"
"Indeed, warrior," replied Nieshef. She then opened the creaky wooden gate and left out into the woods.

Simesoth was sitting in his war room. A priest was standing before him whose name was Gephoss. He constantly reported to Simesoth since priests were the second in command. "Gephoss, we need to get a move on. We've been set out by the king himself to destroy the human settlement of Krolm's Anvil. We've been here at least two winters and that damn kingdom still shows no sign of weakening." Simesoth was really worried. The overlords under him were getting restless because they haven't killed a human in months. Krolm's Anvil must be destroyed for the goblins absolutely detested humans. "Tell you what we're gonna do. Next time we have an attack, it has to be more concentrated and make sure that maniacal overlord, Insomnial, is running the attack."
"Yes, milord." Gephoss bowed and quickly went to his orders, commanding another attack on Krolm's Anvil.

[ 16. January 2003, 07:53 PM: Message edited by: Vizzerdrix ]
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Raistlin, Archmagus

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Location: Krynn, Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas

 PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2003 8:51 pm    Post subject: Of Goblins and Rogues Reply with quote Back to top

Aislin didn't like being called 'girl' much, but it was something she'd grown (somewhat) used to. Just shifted so she could look around the four men, at the horde making their way towards the five of them. She nodded.

"All right then. Where are you headed, by chance?" She had started walking back towards Krolm's Anvil, the other rogues close at hand. "There's a rogue's guild near by - the one I belong to - that would house you." She glanced back at Dominik. "And there's a place to put your treasure..." She wished they weren't rogues. She'd take all of his gold without a second thought if they had been nobles.

[ 17. January 2003, 07:27 PM: Message edited by: Raistlin, Archmagus ]
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 PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 2:04 am    Post subject: Of Goblins and Rogues Reply with quote Back to top

Long Post!

Nieshef glanced backwards towards the settlement through treetrunks outlined by the glare of distant torches. Her eyes flashed as she glanced back towards the camp, and the tapetum adjusted to the darkness rapidly descending. Right now, she sought Ambaris, a fungal outgrowth that, when ground, broiled, and taken in moderation with shrok ale, triggered coma, paralysis, and chronic heart failure. The secret was never to take it in moderation, or when it wasn't fresh.
She hauled herself onto the lower branches of a spruce coppice, snagged her robe, fell backwards, and rammed her pruning dagger six inches into the base of the trunk before venting a scream. Foaming rage always put her in a good mood.
If Simesoth were- according to the high priests- intent on assaulting Krolm's Anvil, he couldn't have picked a better time. Coincidental? Nieshef doubted it, but also questioned whether the warlord had the neccesary subtlety for such intrigues as assassination of a human Prince- she could simply be confusing cause and effect- Gephoss, now... being another matter entirely. The man had the cunning of a half-starved varg, the more dangerous because it was unobvious.
The local military, regardless, oblivious, would remain as coordinated and responsive as a headless chicken until a new sovereign ascended to the throne. Depending on the scarcity or otherwise of extant heirs this could take, "oh, anything between decades and hours. And then, the odds are most of the previous administration's commanders'll be executed, exiled, imprisoned on suspicion of treason. ...'and I'm talking to myself again."
She flipped open a satchel and stripped the bark circumscribing a knotted stump removed from the ground, and pared off a dense rind of furry amber growth which she stowed away, gossamer threads trailing from the bag's lip.
"Jendor was no coincidence either..."
Mostly privately irritated at her own admission of involvement, which had deprived her of her principle scapegoat (tell the world, Coroth,) Nieshef looked for someone to make an example of. No-one undermined her authority without consequence.
Jendor obviously considered throwing down the champion's gauntlet to an archer beneath his station, if he'd wanted him crippled or dead. Nieshef valued useful cruelty highly and consequently spared it. But death succeeding cruelty was self-defeating. They didn't learn.
That said, Simesoth was probably right. There were more important things ito life than it's preservation. Death on the field of combat, in the throes of war, as a final release from suffering after the decrepitude of age, that was a worthy death, pleasing in the Lady's eyes.
Because it was embraced willingly. Without resistance, or at least with foreknowledge of the risks.
What were they supposed to do? Offer the prospect of near-certain death over near-certain hazard? The healers were as gullible just as they were defenseless and, she knew from personal experience, did not refuse aid to any breathing creature. The town was hostile, yes, but also delapidated and corrupt. Scouts could easily get within spitting distance. Moreover, the shrine was around the outskirts and dark was falling. The odds of their sighting were slim, and even then, she was capable of self-defense. She returned to the hut.
Some hours passed, the torches burnt low, and the priestess gradually unwound the bandage for inspection.
Nieshef pored cautiously into the weltering puncture with her claws. It seemed like the break was a clean one, which was fortunate since she didn't dare touch it. The bone had been snapped and then warped at an awkward angle, shredding the surrounding tissue, partly due to the archer's own convulsions, partly due the injury's initial 'handling.' The bile had cauterised dead tissue, and infection was subsiding.
"Still hurts Gilith?"
"Styx and stones, miss: like Hell."
"Good." She changed the poultice, and boiled the old bandages. "If you're dead, it'll stop hurting."
"You always said so, y'reverence. Akh."
Nieshef withdrew her claws. "I need to see how the healing is progressing, or isn't, and I need you conscious for that. Because if it doesn't progress, I'll need to use these. And I can say in perfect truth, it won't hurt a bit."
Ambaris, gathered fresh, was a powerful anaesthetic. But he didn't know that. It was just as well neither were going to get much sleep that night.

[ 19. January 2003, 04:29 AM: Message edited by: Alfryd, disciple of Krolm. ]
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 PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 5:02 pm    Post subject: Of Goblins and Rogues Reply with quote Back to top

Once upon a time, the settlement in Krolm's Anvil had been a prosperous town. That was about fifty years ago, when High King Sydrian had come to the desolate land in order to retrieve powerful artifacts from the barrows which dotted the landscape. It was a race against time, as some hostile force tried to shake the village apart. Literally. The best heroes of Ardania had flocked to the King, and he prevailed. High King Sydrian always prevailed. But, after he left, the town started to fall apart in a way more serious than any magical earthquake could have brought about.
Sydrian's governor died. The man elected to replace nominated himself the King of Krolm's Anvil. But the self-styled King had no talent for ruling a kingdom, especially in such a harsh land. Fifty years later, with that King dead and no heirs apparent, the settlement was in chaos.
"This is where you live?" asked Zametski in disdainful shock.
"Looks rather run-down," observed Yeremi, wide-eyed. Dominik and the Shade offered no comment.
"The whole city's run-down," she replied. "If you don't like it, you can go back to that other place."
"Watch your tongue, girl," warned Yan. He stared moodily at the looming hulk of the local Rogue's Guild. He shivered; it was getting dark, and the Northlands were no place to be after dark. Especially Krolm's Anvil. "Well, we'd better go. I don't suppose the gods will turn this heap into a Palace just for us."
"The Palace isn't much better," muttered Aislin.
"Just so long as we aren't attacked," said Yeremi brightly as they trudged toward the Rogues' Guild.
"Idiot, who would attack this dump?" Yan growled.
"Goblins," whispered Wraith. Yan looked at him scornfully.
"Goblins indeed. Why would they bother? Their tents are better kept up. Your mind is as frozen as your heart, Assasin."
The Wraith shrugged. "As you say, Guildmaster."
"As long as my gold is safe," muttered Dominik, oblivious.
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 PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 10:08 pm    Post subject: Of Goblins and Rogues Reply with quote Back to top

"Dump my arse," Aislin snorted. She tuned out the rest as she led them through the guild, to the small, cramped quarters that were kept for visitors.

"Here," she said, opening a door to one of the rooms. "It joins to the next room over. We only have these two to hand out, so use 'em to your needs."

She paused a moment, apparently thinking. "They wouldn't travel into the Anvil, would they?" She refered to the ramapaging residents of the smaller town. "They wouldn't actually...come after us, would they?" She looked up at Yan, a bit worried. "Maybe you should stay somewhere else," she muttered to herself, crossing her arms.
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