[Vfw-times] MK Winter Assault part 71
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COkane8116 at aol.com
Tue Jan 1 02:18:40 CST 2002
Misha landed lightly on the floor in the center of Selig's refuge, axe
swinging. A lutin with a spear in his hands had time to gawk before the fox
cut his head off with one blow.
A dozen Lutins charged at him their spears aimed at the fox's heart.
Holding his axe in one hand he took something from his pocket using his free
hand. The metal sphere he was holding looked just as it had when Misha had
used it at the armory. He tossed it at the approaching Lutins. "Huyria
Kormun!" the vulpine shouted. There was an explosion that tossed Lutins in
all directions, some whole, but most in pieces. When the smoke cleared all
twelve of his attackers were dead.
A moment later Finbar touched down next to the fox. "Great!" the ferret
shouted. "The charm actually works!"
"That's great to hear," Meredith said landing next to him with a thump.
The crossbow in his massive paws shuddered and a bolt buried itself in a
human sentries head.
Misha retrieved the metal ball from where it had fallen. The sphere was
different this time. The runes carved into it's surface were still there but
the whole ball was covered with a layer of soot. Plus there were hundreds of
cracks that now spider webbed across the metal surface. Gingerly the vulpine
placed the orb into a pouch and turned to killing Lutins. There was no time
now to figure out what was wrong with it. In a moment the remaining scouts
came down together. Quickly they lashed out at every enemy within reach.
Arla cut down a pair of Lutins protecting a small tent. Jotham and Allart
leaped over the fallen sentries and into the tent. The wizard they found
inside raised his hands to cast a spell. A blue light glowed in his palms.
Allart buried his short sword in the mages chest, and the light died as its
Two humans were frantically trying to open the forts one gate to let help
in when two arrows from Padraic dropped them.
Danielle, Finbar and Meredith charged straight at a group of ten Lutins
who were trying to organize into a shield wall. They never got the chance.
At Captain Landon's shout Daria rushed through the breach into Barracks
One, together with a mass of her fellow warriors. The acrid scent of smoke
and charred, burning flesh filled the air, and her ears throbbed with the
battle cries of those around her. Garulf ran alongside her, battleaxe at the
The Enemy had arranged their forces intelligently: for all the
devastation caused by the Keepers' magic attack, the rather expendable Lutins
had formed the outer defensive perimeter, thus bearing the brunt of the
assault. Hundreds of Lutins already lay dead, but their stronger and
better-trained human companions had been partially shielded by the sea of
green-skinned brutes around them. Now those human soldiers rushed forward
with the surviving Lutins, intent on crushing the attacking Keepers.
It was, Daria knew, the absolute worst sort of fighting for her to be
caught in the middle of. She was small, slender and lightly armored, and
while her strength and agility were in top form there were still physical
limitations on her abilities that she was all too aware of. In the
close-packed sea of bodies that took shape along the outer edges of the
barracks, there was a very real risk of her being crushed. She stayed close
to Garulf, hoping that the bear-man's imposing bulk could help ensure her a
little more breathing room.
For good or ill, that state of affairs did not last long: after a few
minutes the battle lines had become mixed and jumbled, and the combatants
spread out to fill the barracks' entire expansive area. Daria found herself
fighting back-to-back with Garulf in a room filled with similarly small
pockets of attackers and defenders. The Keepers were outnumbered, but only
slightly; the initial magical strike had done much to even the odds. Daria
couldn't get much sense of the overall flow of the battle -- due in no small
part to her height -- but judging from the number of opponents she and Garulf
were facing at any given moment, it looked as if the enemy had three soldiers
left for every two Keepers. And since the Keepers were, without question, the
finest warriors in all the lands of the West, those odds were rapidly evening
Daria and Garulf ran into a cluster of enemy soldiers, and the redheaded
warrior quickly turned her mind from the overall battle to the task at hand.
Occasionally glancing over her shoulder to keep an eye on her comrade, she
admired Garulf's skill with that enormous axe -- he wielded it almost
artfully, using it as both shield and weapon, striking with precision and
brutal intensity. At one point he was attacked from both sides
simultaneously; aware of both enemies, he drove the butt of the handle hard
into the face of the one on his right, even as he caught the other's sword
with the blade of the axe. Pushing back the one on the left with a hard
thrust, he made two quick swings -- right, then back to the left -- that left
one attacker dead and the other grievously wounded.
"Nice work!" Daria remarked, genuinely impressed. Clearly, Garulf was a
far keener warrior than his barbaric weapon suggested.
"Thanks," the bear-man grunted, as he finished off his remaining
opponent. "On your right."
Daria spun and blocked the incoming sword, then darted to the left and
directed the blow's momentum down and away from her body, reducing the force
of the impact on her arm. She then drove a hard right kick to the man's right
knee, stepped forward into a left jab, and drove in her sword beneath his
chest armor, angling it upward into his gut. Sweeping her leg behind him,
Daria pulled his feet out from under him and drove him to the floor. The
force of the impact made the enemy soldier finally drop his sword, which
Daria had carefully kept pinned between their bodies, and she quickly took
advantage of his helplessness to draw her dagger and slice open the man's
neck. Retrieving her sword, she sprang up and returned to Garulf's side,
leaving the invader to drown in his own blood.
"Did I ever tell you how much I admire your courage?" Garulf asked.
"Don't think so," Daria said, flashing a quick smile.
"You don't shy away from a good fight," he continued, as another pair of
enemy soldiers approached them. Daria and Garulf slowly circled, back to
back, making sure there were no other immediate threats to worry about. "That
Daria smirked. "Aye, well ... you're rather impressive yourself."
Then they plunged into the fray again. As the battle continued, Daria's
focus closed down, the enemy soldiers and Lutins becoming mere targets to be
destroyed, no longer sentient beings with dreams and fears and ambitions of
their own. She and Garulf were the only two people left in her world,
surrounded by a roomful of noisy, sweaty objects classified simply as
"friend" or "foe". Together, they were unspeakably deadly.
High above the fighting Caroline and Padraic calmly added to the chaos going
on in the main hall. Each was using their bows to good effect, picking and
choosing the target to kill. The otter used her regular arrows only, leaving
her magic ones for special targets.
The first to be killed after she destroyed the small tower was a tall,
black haired, human officer. He was using his sword like a pointer, ordering
his troops to attack the Long Scouts when two arrows slammed into his chest.
The man was dead before he hit the floor. Another man rushed up to help the
fallen officer and earned an arrow in the back from Padraic.
Caroline's second kill was another human, one of three Jotham was
fighting. That fighter took one arrow to drop. She moved onto other targets
as Jotham quickly killed both of the other two he was fighting. Looking
around she found more targets. Misha was fighting three Lutins. Two arrows
evened the odds, and the fox made short work of the sole remaining lutin.
Suddenly all the troops of Nasoj in the little fort were dead, except in
one corner. In that corner stood a large tent. The bright red canvas of the
tent was covered in lutin scrawl. In front of its sole entrance stood a ten
foot tall banner hanging from a pole, that was at least fifteen feet high.
Dangling from pole and banner were countless, skulls and decaying heads. On
the banner was a fanged skull on a blood red background. That was General
Selig's personal standard.
Outside the little fort fighting raged savagely as the two sides were
locked in a brutal fight for survival. Inside the wooden walls things were
calming down as the Long Scouts finished with the other troops in the fort.
Slowly they gathered in front of the tent. Between them and the tent were
three ogres, ten human fighters and twenty Lutins. Behind them stood a lutin,
almost five feet tall and dressed in armor. This armor wasn't the usual
patched together bits and pieces. Instead it was finely made plate mail that
fit him perfectly. Caroline had no doubt that this lutin was General Selig
himself. The woman standing next to him was dressed in the flowing robes of a
Padraic loosed an arrow and Caroline watched it streak towards the general
and the mage. Some ten feet from its target the arrow shattered as if it had
struck an invisible wall. The rabbit muttered a curse under his breath and
reached for another arrow.
The mage looked up at straight into Caroline's eyes. She smiled and
pointed her finger at the otter.
"OH SHIT!" Padraic shouted. Both rabbit and otter ran away from the
railing as fast as possible and dropped behind an upturned table at the other
end of the room. A ball of flame exploded a moment later engulfing the area
they had just been standing in searing flames. It took a minute for the
flames to die down. It revealed a burned and shattered railing.
Caroline and Padraic slowly edged forward to the hole in the floor. The
rabbit shrieked and dropped to his knees. "MY BOW!" he screamed and held up a
charred and blackened stick that might once have been a long bow.
The otter was luckier, she had managed to not only hold onto her bow but
all of her arrows as well. She nocked an arrow and looked over the edge of
the hole to the battle below.
The corner of the fort was a scene of savage fighting. The keepers were
locked in bitter combat with the soldiers defending the tent. A brown bear
was locked in a savage wrestling match with a ogre twice his size. Arla,
Allart and Jotham were fighting a second ogre. The body of the third ogre lay
stretched on the ground near the tent.
She saw Georgette, Danielle and Finbar were desperately trying to hold off
a score of Lutins. For a frightening moment she couldn't find Misha. Then she
saw him and Laura standing back to back as they held off the dozen, human
fighters surrounding them.
General Selig was still standing where had been the last time she had seen
him. The mage was still at his side. The wizard moved both hands in small
circles and four balls of light shot from them straight at the Keepers.
Danielle brought her hands up as if to block the onrushing spheres. The balls
suddenly changed course flying off to one side as if they had ricocheted off
of a wall.
The mage scowled and readied another spell. The pine marten morph had
caught her off guard, she didn't know the keeper was a mage. Caroline took
one of her magic arrows and aimed at the wizard. Danielle had blocked her
first spell, but she didn't have the skill to stop her forever.
Suddenly Padraic grunted and Caroline thought he had been wounded. Looking
at him she saw that he had picked up a stone block and was holding it over
his head. Then he threw it over the edge. Caroline followed the twenty five
pound block as it dropped slowly to the battlefield below. It seemed to move
with an incredible slowness, turning end over end as it sped towards it's
"HEY MAGE!" the rabbit shouted down.
The wizard stopped her spell casting and looked up just as the block hit
her square in the face. The woman's whole head exploded in a splatter of
blood and gore that sprayed all over the lutin standing next to her.
Caroline turned back to the battle and aimed at one of the humans
threatening her lover but didn't shoot. "Think when you're in combat," George
had told her during one of their training sessions. "The key to winning and
living in combat is to control your emotions and not let your emotions
control you." Misha was surrounded and fighting for his life, but he was
holding his own. If she killed one of the humans facing him that would have
only a small effect on the battle. The same went with killing one of the
Lutins. An ogre. Kill one of the ogres and the odds will be tipped in the
All that decision making had taken a brief moment. She swung her bow over
to the ogres. Meredith was tumbling and twisting on the floor in a death
match with one, she couldn't get a clear shot. So she took aim at the
remaining monster. Allart was laying on the ground cradling a shattered arm
as Arla and Jotham fought the eight foot tall creature. The dog morph dodged
a blow from a club as large as her whole body. Jotham took advantage of the
distraction and rushed forward, his mace held high. He smashed the weapon
into the ogres side and danced backward as the creature swung at him.
Caroline took careful aim at the ogre and waited for the right moment. The
three combatants moved back and forth, in a tight dance of death. Her bow
followed every move of the giant creature as it tried to kill the two
keepers. She had to bid her time and wait for an opening. A wrong decision
and her arrow could wind up in a Keeper, so she watched and waited and
finally the moment came.
The ogre gave a huge swing of his club that made both Keepers jump back to
avoid it's deadly contact, but Arla moved too slowly and the canine was sent
flying backward. She landed in a heap and didn't move. The ogre tossed his
head back and shouted in triumph. Caroline loosed her shaft, and then drew,
nocked and shot two more in quick succession. The monsters shout ended in a
gurgle as two arrows buried themselves in his eyes and a third into his
throat. The ogres club dropped to the pavement. His body joined it a moment
Jotham stood over the dead ogres corpse for a moment. The he turned to
where Misha and Laura were fighting. With one swift motion he drew a hand axe
from his belt and with a single toss, buried it in the back of a human
soldier. Holding his mace high he charged the men surrounding Misha and
Laura. He had no time to check on Arla. Help the living first, then see to
the wounded and the dead.
End part 71
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