[Vfw-times] MK Winter assault part 17
COkane8116 at aol.com
COkane8116 at aol.com
Wed Aug 29 01:46:37 CDT 2001
12/24 - 10:30
At first, Gil was worried that the opening door was more Lutins, coming to
finish the job they had started earlier. However, his fears were assuaged by
the familiar, friendly voice of a well-known Talbot morph. "What ho! Gil,"
called Toby, hastily looking through the furniture and hoping that he and
Ryuo had arrived on time. As he approached, Toby saw the impaled Aeryl and
quickly averted his gaze. The sudden attack had caused too many deaths
already this night, and there were only going to be more before the invaders
Turning to face the corner of the room, Toby saw Gil, his face breaking into
a smile at seeing the old cat still alive and kicking--well, alive at least.
He surveyed the broken leg, sandwiched between the black lacquered scabbards
of Ryuo's swords, wrapped together with the fox's blood-stained sash. The
shiny gleam of the lacquer seemed out of place in this room of ruinous
destruction. "Hmm, you don't look so good." Toby stated.
"I thank you for the excellent diagnosis, doctor," Gil said with more than a
hint of sarcasm laced into the pain, "Seriously, 'tis not so terrific as all
that. My opponents did much worse, let me assure you." Gil hissed in pain as
he shifted to a better position, accidentally jarring the leg.
Toby looked around the room, peering carefully at the furniture and
generating an idea. Finally, he seemed to come to some inner conclusion.
"Alright, Ro, I need that tapestry." He pointed to the one on the wall.
"Lay it out, here." he added, gesturing so that Ryuo would understand. The
ensanguined warrior acknowledged with a nod and went to work pulling down the
expensive tapestry from the wall. As he did so, Toby went to work on the
furniture, using a fallen axe to cut into the wood and make two, hopefully
Glancing at the tapestry, Toby grabbed one edge and folded it so that it was
a little more than two meters long. He then lay one of the poles lengthwise
along the tapestry. Folding the brocade over the pole, he then placed the
other pole down as well. Folding once more, he motioned to Ryuo again.
"Let's get it next to Gil, and then we will try to move him onto here."
Ryuo seemed to understand, and picked up two of the poles. Moving the
hastily made stretcher over to where Gil lay, the two gingerly picked the
lion up and moved him onto the fabric bed. Ryuo gave him his swords to hold
onto, since he had no place to keep them himself. "Well, let's go, and hope
we don't run into too many Lutins on the way." Toby picked up his end at the
back, allowing Ryuo to take the lead. "If you would do the honors..." he said
with a nod towards the door. Together, the trio moved out into the hallway.
Toby looked up at the doorway as he left and whispered, "Kyia, we would
really appreciate it if we didn't meet any Lutins this time through."
Carrying their wounded companion between them, Ryuo and Toby could hardly
believe their luck in the hallways of the Keep. They had only seen one group
of Lutins, and those had passed by without much of a glance down the dark
corridor the trio stood in, stock still. Together they watched twelve Lutins
and several humans race through the Keep, although the trio had no idea where
they might be headed. Choosing discretion as the better part of valor--and
not wishing to get into a fight while both hands were occupied--Toby and Ryuo
wisely chose to go down a different passageway.
Making it to the Cathedral, both warriors were relieved. They knocked on the
doors, and after a brief interrogation, they were let in. Inside, they could
see the many people huddled in the pews while warriors waited at the door.
The Duke was here, as was Coe; the latter ran over as soon as someone
informed him of the wounded lion. Motioning to have him set down over by one
"It's a broken leg, we think." Toby said, "Ro found him in the Duke's
chambers--he must have arrived after the Duke had left."
"Yes, there's apparently been some assassins in the Keep as well as the
regular soldiers." Coe said, "What about you? What news have you brought."
"Nothing good." Toby said, even his usually energetic voice sounding heavy,
"I know at least twelve men who are dead, and a good deal many others that
are wounded. Me and a few others were caught in one of the Keep's shifts and
separated from the rest of our squad. Fortunately, so were the Lutins we
ended up with. They didn't last long." His face split into an evil grin for
a second, and then changed along with his tone, "Speaking of which, have
Jonathan Wright and the Mrs. Wilkes made it back here yet?
Coe looked up. "I don't know, but I haven't see them. Are they in trouble?"
"Hopefully not," Toby said, although the worry was evident in his voice, "I
told them to hole up if they couldn't make it here, hopefully they're still
somewhere in the Keep." He didn't need to add, 'alive'.
Coe nodded as he got to work on Gil's leg, "There's a lot of people
unaccounted for. Right now we are all trying to gather and hole up.
Tomorrow, who knows." Coe had finished unwrapping the leg, and handed the
whole setup to Ryuo. "I think you'll be needing these."
"Toby!" a new voice called out from behind. The talbot turned to look and
found him at eye level with a huge chest. Slowly, he looked up at the
grinning face of a large moose morph. Elcuared grinned. "Glad to see you,
ya mangy dog. I'm glad you two arrived. We're gathering what forces we can
and I've been asked to get a group of men together, you want on?"
Toby grinned, "As long as I get to kill a few Lutins I'll be happy." They
both smiled. "By the way," Toby continued, "Let me introduce you to a friend
of mine. I think that you will definitely be glad he is with us when the
fighting goes down." Toby gestured towards Ryuo. "Ro, Elcuared. Elcuared,
Ro. He's not too hot with the language yet, but he definitely knows how to
speak the language of steel." Ryuo bowed as he was introduced.
"Glad to meet you," Elcuared said, "Well, its been a sudden attack, but we're
still here. It's going to be a long, hard night, but we'll make our way
through it. No matter what happens, we won't go without a hard and bitter
"Heck!" Tony piped up, "We might even make it out alive!"
It felt good to be out of the cold and biting wind for a change. The harsh
winter weather had taken a hard toll on every creature. The pack was not
happy. They had been forced from their nice warm dens out into the terrible
storm and then the long trip south had almost killed them. There had been
nothing to eat but frozen lutins and the occasional human. The cold and snow
was the worst part, it was almost more then even a dire wolf could survive.
Still, in spite of everything, all twenty of the pack had made it alive to
this big, stone place.
The gateway the pack was standing in was full of all sorts of interesting
tidbits to eat even if the lutins had gotten all the good pieces. But all too
soon Gershak stopped their eating.
The lutins pointed down one of the numerous corridors "You want food? You
hungry from long walk?" he taunted. "Down that hall is many keepers to eat.
Any you catch, you can eat."
That was all the giant wolves needed to hear. The male Crooked Jaw tilted his
massive head back and let loose a deep, loud howl.
Deep inside the castle Keepers everywhere stopped and listened to the
powerful howls of the pack that seemed to echo from all directions. It sent a
chill of fear down the spines of all who heard it. There was no doubting what
that sound meant; there was a dire wolf pack on the hunt.
"How does it feel?" asked Jesse as he put the finishing touches on Natalie's
"Like I'm covered in mud and leaves." replied the dragon-girl.
"This will never work." said Shamgar. "She doesn't even look like a bird."
"Hold on." said Oren as he plunged an arm into the icy river. He pulled it
back with a shell in his paw, which he stuck on the end of Natalie's nose.
"I peel lig ad idiod." said Natalie.
"We are ready." said Desuka, taking his place next to Blake.
"WAIT!" cried the assassin. "Are you sure you can reverse the spell?"
"Oh sfure." Said the dragon around her clamshell beak as she began to
twiddle her fingers, causing sparks to form.
"Good." Blake responded, and returned to fondling the hand.
"I mean, there has to be a way, right?"
Both Blake and Desuka gave a surprised "huh?" before rapidly assuming a
height of one inch tall.
"Oren!" cried Jesse. "The storm is gaining strength again! We need to get
on with this!"
The otter turned to his rhino friend. "Go help the warriors down the
Shamgar nodded and obeyed, making his way deep into the back of the cave,
where the sounds of digging and scraping of frozen earth could be heard.
"Jesse, you too. They're going to need you in the front."
Oren squinted through the blowing snow to try to make out the tower, which
was visible only as a darker shadow against the inky darkness outside when he
could see it at all through the howling snow of the blizzard. "The armory is
going to be two levels below the upper window."
"And two levels above the lower one." said Natalie as she picked up the tiny
forms of Desuka and Blake. "We know. We've lived in the tower as long as
Into the blinding torrent of ice and snow Natalie flew, covered in leaves
and mud, already frozen nearly numb. High into the air she forced herself,
buffeted this way and that by the constant shifting of the powerful winds.
Memory and natural instincts were all she really had to guide her through the
icy gale toward their destination. Gradually, the form of the lighthouse
came into view. Closer she came... closer... closer... SMACK!
"What were that?" called a lutin from inside the tower.
A hideous, green face popped out into the storm. "It's just a stupid bird
what flew into the tower in the storm. Heh! There it goes, sliding down the
side! Hoo, it broke it's beak so it did! I think I might go out and see if
I can find it. It'll make good eatin', so it will!"
"You'll stay here, you dimwit." said the first lutin. "We gots our orders.
No one leaves the building until we breaks into the weapons room."
So intent was the lutin on the "bird" sliding down the outside wall that he
did not see either of the two tiny figures which had climbed through the
window right under his nose.
"I'm gonna take a finger from that one." Blake whispered to herself as she
skittered along the floor beside the panda. "And an ear from that one... and
a foot from that one... and from that one, I'll take his little..."
"Blake, you sure you up for this!?"
"I got my first kill ever, panda-man! I'm ready for anything!"
"Then shut up and get to hole in floor!
Blake considered being offended, but the fact that Desuka's white fur was
taking on an ominous orange tone made her reconsider. She put her hand in
her pocket and followed.
The Hipocci youth were getting exhausted working so hard to extend the
rear of the cave. Several of them pleaded with Oren and Jesse to let them
rest, stating that it would be no use to send tired warriors into battle.
Oren responded by dismissing the two most fatigued diggers and taking their
place, chopping away with his sharpened stick like a man possessed. Everyone
stopped and stared at him.
"What are you stopping for?" cried the otter in an uncharacteristically terse
manner. "We've got to get as close to the tower as we can! DIG!"
The others resumed, somewhat fearful at seeing their leader like this.
"Okay..." said Blake as she poked her head down onto the next level. "I
can see a hole in the next floor down we can use, but how in the world do we
get down there?"
"Like this." Desuka replied. He slipped down through the hole and plummeted
straight down toward the floor. The panda landed on his feet and beckoned
his companion to follow. This she did with her heart leaping up behind her
"How in the name of Ramphon did we just survive that?" she asked in
"Smaller creatures fall farther safely. Fact of science. You trust Desuka."
The panda turned and scurried away, leaving Blake whispering "What a wild
12/24 - 11:30
Laracin's rescuers had almost reached the Palace tower, coming around the
last corner in the wall, when they ran into a small band of lutin warriors.
Jace, leading the escort, shouted out in surprise and warning as they
appeared suddenly out of the dark. The lutins seemed just as surprised to
encounter the Keepers, and both side stood there, staring at each other for a
Jace reacted first, swinging his spear down on to the unprotected head of
the nearest lutin. That broke the stand still as both sides readying their
weapons and joined the melee.
Dan raised his spear, facing off against the Lutin closest to him. It had
been almost two years since he had been in a real fight with the minions of
Nasoj. He had kept up in his training as required by his limited service, but
had not had to put the training to use in that time. Even the infrequent
patrols he had taken had been quiet.
Now he was plunged back into battle. As the fray began, the battle around
him seemed to faded out, leaving only him and his opponent. The short green
monster in front of him lunged at Dan with its blade. Leaping back, Dan
dodged the blow causing the sword to miss and cut a jagged hole in his robes.
This brought a sudden realization to Dan. Other then the natural toughness of
his shell and the several layers of wool he had on, he was not wearing any
significant armor, leaving him vulnerable to a stray blade.
Parrying the lutin's next thrust with the shaft of his spear, Dan countered
and jabbed at his opponent. The spear tip glanced off of one of the few
pieces of metal armor the lutin was wearing, deflecting off and doing no
damage. Off to his side, Dan saw one of his companions go down under the blow
of a club. The lutin baring the club, satisfied that the solider wouldn't be
getting up again, turned his attention to Dan.
Now facing the attention of two lutins, Dan fell back, putting his back to
the wall. Making the mistake of trying to parry a blow from the one carrying
the club, Dan grimaced as the shock traveled up his arms, almost wrenching
them from their sockets. The wooden shaft of the spear fared worse,
shattering under the impact and falling to the ground from his nerveless
Dan could not believe it, but his opponents were laughing, taking joy in
his fear. Sensing an easy kill, they moved in quickly, pushing against each
other, trying to be the first to end his life. Drawing forth his belt knife,
Dan stood ready to face them, a strange sense of calm settling over him. If
he died on this night, he fully intended to do it with lutin blood on his
The approaching duo saw the knife. They even pointed to it and laughed. The
one with the sword pointed to the knife again, then held his hands apart at
the approximate length of the Keeper's blade. He then pointed to his sword
and indicated the length of its blade. Both of the attackers found this
There laughter was interrupted as the one holding the club found a spear
jammed into his chest. The other lutin spun around, staring at his dying
companion spitted on the end of Christoff's spear. Seeing an opening, Dan
leapt at the other, embedding his knife in its throat before it could react.
Dan grimaced as the sticky blood ran over his hand, soaking into the wool of
his glove, its heat almost burning against his skin. The watched with
morbid fascination as the life gurgled out of the lutin, spreading out in a
crimson stain in the snow.
"Come on. We have to get out of here before more come." urged Christoff,
pulling the insect morph to his feet.
Dan looked around the battlefield in a detached haze. Bodies littered the
ground. Mostly, noticed Dan, lutins. He knew he should be relieved, but for
some reason he was not. In fact, he did not feel much of anything. The world
around him was in a haze. Suddenly a new feeling rushed over him.
"Cold." he gasped before collapsing unconscious into Christoff's arms.
End part 17
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