[Vfw-times] MK winter Assault part 80 - Old villians and old friends

COkane8116 at aol.com COkane8116 at aol.com
Thu Jan 10 02:04:44 CST 2002

12/27 - 11pm

Baron Calephas was wretchedly cold.  Night had long since fallen on the Glen, 
and inside his wooden cell all pretensions of warmth had fled, leaving him 
shivering in the thick wool that he had worn when venturing to the Bridge.  
At the very least they had left him his clothes, otherwise he would probably 
have died from the chill by now.  As it was he was hard pressed to believe 
that he would not die anyway under the lack of care the Glenners provided.

He had heard the muffled sounds of footfalls an hour earlier moving past the 
tree in which he had been imprisoned; a great number of them passing him by.  
Certainly Lord Avery had to have set set his men on their expedition to 
Metamor by now.  If he were to follow through with his hastily conceived 
plan, he would have to act swiftly.  And so he slowly stood, the cold 
stiffening his joints and biting through his garments the moment he unfolded 
himself.  He paced his cell, rubbing his arms firmly as he paced, working up 
a particular need - as well as keeping his body warm - and talked to his 

The guard outside the door was a rather robust wolf morph though his belly 
could have benefited from less alcohol.  He did his best to ignore Calephas's 
barbs though the Baron could hear him growl under his breath into the chill 
wind.  This sign only emboldened the master of Arabarb, prompting him to 
describe in detail how he had seduced one particular page boy back in his 
father's manor.  It had been his very first and he had been rather clumsy at 
it, but he told nothing of that to the wolf, gushing with voracious detail 
about the event, and how the boy had cried against his bonds at the climax.

"Shut up you sick bastard," the wolf snarled, banging his sword point against 
the bars of the iron door.

Calephas laughed at that. "Oh, I assure you I'm no bastard, I was born 
legitimately from my father's loins. Though I did have a few half-brothers.  
In fact, the youngest was quite handsome.  I remember that on his eighth 
birthday I gave him such a lovely present, though he wasn't quite as eager as 
I'd hoped.  Eight times I gave it to him, for being eight years old.  I 
thought it a fair gift.  Would you care to hear about it?"

"I said shut up!" the wolf barked, his eyes gone red with disgust.

The Baron, however, went right ahead and began to tell the story, ignoring 
the guard's angry demands, omitting not a single detail, describing the boy's 
cries as he made each thrust.  He noted the way the knots were tied that held 
him secure to the bed, and remarked upon how long the sobs continued even 
after he had finished and let the boy recover from his exuberance.  
Throughout the tale the wolf only growled louder, though he set his back 
firmly to the door, doing his best not to give Calephas any pleasure.

The Baron took every opportunity he could to find pleasure, as it was 
necessary.  Stepping close to the iron door he peered out into the dark of 
the frigid night and, though he could only see the vague outlines of the 
wolf's form, it was enough. "My, I must say, your children must be quite 
lovely.  After all, you're a delightful specimen.  I certainly wouldn't mind 
taking one of your boys to bed and exploring further."

As he said this he uncinched the belt at his waist and let his trousers fall 
to the floor, exposing his legs and groin to the bitterly cold wind.  The 
wolf turned about and snarled at him from between the bars as he had hoped, 
crying out for him to be quiet.  What he found, rather than silence, was the 
warm stream of the Baron's piss splashing across his muzzle and spilling down 
his nose.

Spluttering with rage the lupine guard jammed the keys into the lock as he 
snatched his sword from its sheath with his other paw.  Calephas slammed his 
shoulder into the door the moment the bolt was pulled, throwing the heavy 
iron outwards against the enraged wolf, smacking it into his head.  Kicking 
his pants to one side he jumped out into the bitter snow and dived onto his 

The wolf, startled at the ferocity of the sudden attack, tried to bring the 
sword across.  His muzzle was bleeding profusely from the nose and mouth as 
one of his long canines had been knocked from his muzzle and was lying in the 
scarlet snow.  The Baron was faster for all of his chill.  He kicked the 
wolf's sword arm aside and snatched the dagger at the wolf's hip from its 
sheath, then plunged it into the thick mail covering the guard's chest.  
Crimson stickiness spread from the wound and the Glenner gaped in horror, the 
sword falling limply from his paw as blood welled from his throat, choking 
off his agonised howl.  He coughed a few more moments, glaring at the Baron 
with hate in his eyes, before he finally lay still and lifeless.

Baron Calephas retrieved his trousers and pulled them back up over his legs, 
tying them tight. Returning to the dead wolf he scanned about the Glen to see 
if there were any others about.  Though his eyes were not very good, he did 
not hear any tocsin raised, so assumed that he had yet to be discovered.  
With quick fingers he undid the straps holding the wolf's leather mail in 
place, swiftly stripping the wolf of his armour.  The shirt was ruined, 
drenched in blood as it was, and Calephas cut it away.  The breeches, though, 
were just large enough to fit him despite his lack of a tail and greater 

With the extra warmth around his legs, Calephas set to slicing his enemy's 
bowels open.  Years living in Arabarb had taught him to contain his stomach, 
as he'd had to do this to many different animals.  With precision he sliced 
the layer of fat from the skin and began to squeeze it between his fingers.  
It was warm, but would not be for much longer.

Grimacing, the Baron began to wipe the fatty mucus across his woollen shirt, 
rubbing it hard and deep, letting the oil sink into the material.  It smelled 
acrid and foul, but he cared not, reaching into the stomach cavity for even 
once he had finished with the first handfull.  By the time he had completely 
coated his shirt in the muck, the snow had begun to cover the body.

Certain that his warmth was assured, he unfastened the wolf's buckler and 
placed it around his own waist.  He then wiped the dagger off in the snow and 
sheathed it at his side.  He considered the sword, but after a moment's 
thought left it behind.  If the Glenners tracked him it would be of no use to 
him anyway.  Brushing a bit of the snow from his oiled shoulders, he set off 
at a quick trot, heading North through the woods.  He could not be thankful 
enough for taking the time to thoroughly memorize the maps of this region.

As he left the environs of Glen Avery, picking an easy trail through the 
snow, he turned his mind back to the guard.  With a bit of whimsy he wondered 
whether the lupine even had any children.


"What's going on?" Misha asked harshly. "Why aren't they dead?"

   The man in front of the fox morph was tall knight who couldn't have been 
more then twenty years old. The elaborate heraldic design on the tabard he 
wore marked him as a knight of high noble birth. Misha knew he wasn't from 
Metamor. He vaguely recognized the rampant Griffin emblem as being from a 
Tourell noble house. The man's armor was still shiny and devoid of any 
scratches or dent. Most likely he was a second born son sent out to gain 
glory, fame and experience.

   "My Lord," the knight said, bowing deeply. "I am Sir Roark of Brigston 
Manor. And those foul beasts are held up in a group of rooms."

   "I'm aware of that," the fox interrupted. "This is a castle, there are 
thousands of rooms and only forty Lutins."

  "Yes Sir, I know that," the knight said, annoyance creeping into his voice. 
"But there is a problem. The have hostages."

   The fox went stiff. "Are you sure?"

   "Yes sir. When we charged them they put a Keeper in the doorway."

   The Long scout muttered something under his breath. "Have they said 

   "The Lutins want safe passage back north," the knight replied.

   "Not surprising," Finbar said walking up to the two. "What do we do?"

   "We talk," Misha answered.


   The doorway had been barricaded with a motley collection of chairs, 
tables, desks, and whatever else that happened to be laying around. There was 
no sign of any Lutins. 

   "All right," Misha said out loud from a corner some ten feet away. Beside 
him was Finbar and the knight. "This is Misha Brightleaf."

   A green head appeared briefly over the edge of an up turned table and then 
disappeared. A moment later a lutin stood up in plain view. The fox noted 
that this lutin was dressed in chain mail armor that  was covered with 
various bits of leather, metal, feathers, fingers, ears and other body parts, 
some human, some animal, many lutin in nature, many others unidentifiable. 
Misha realized that this lutin was an important person, a sub chief at least.

   "What you want?" the lutin asked.

   "I want to see your head hanging from the Keep gates," Misha answered. 
"Give me a reason why I shouldn't kill you all."

   The lutin nodded to his left and a figure appeared next to him. It was a 
bound and gagged pony morph. 

   "Good point," Finbar dryly commented.

   "We want safe passage out of here, and back to our home," the green 
skinned sub chief said.

   "What do we get in reply?" Finbar asked.

   "We give you our hostages."

   "How many do you have?" the Knight asked.

   "Many," the lutin replied.

   The knight opened his mouth to say something else, but Misha stopped him 
with a hand on his shoulder. "Don't bother, Lutins can't count."

   "We get to Giants dike safe, we free them all then," the lutin demanded.

   "NO!" Misha countered strongly. "You release them all now and we'll let 
you go free."

   The lutin laughed. "We know you fox. We give you people, you kill us all 

   Finbar laughed. "He has a point."

   "I'll be your safe hostage," the knight announced suddenly.

   "Roark," Misha said to the knight. "Do you realize how dangerous that is?"

   "I do," he answered simply. "But it's worth the risk if it will save 

   Misha stared at the man. The face that stared back at him was calm and 
dead serious. "You'd do that for a Keeper?"

   "You're all humans, no matter what people may say," was the knights 

   Misha turned to the lutin. "I promise you safe passage in exchange for the 
people you are holding captive. This I swear by Whisper."

   "You promise but not live up to promise," was the Lutins answer.

   "I'll give you Whisper as a safeguard," the fox answered.

   A look of shock crossed the Lutins face. "You really mean it," he said 
surprised. "Why?"

   "A thousand Keepers are dead, and many times that number of Lutins. 
There's been too many deaths already," Misha said in a weary voice.

   The sub chief nodded in agreement. "Fershak stupid to believe Nasoj's lies 
about gold and plunder."

   Misha laughed. "Chief Fershak is dead. You want to see his head?"

   "You keep head," the lutin said grinning. "I keep tribe."


   Twenty keepers watched as a ragged group of forty Lutins came out of the 
doorway and filed past them. All were battered, worn and frightened, hardly 
the bold group that had entered the keep a mere handful of days ago. Last 
came the lutin chief. Misha handed the lutin a large white cloth on a pole. 
"Carry that at the front of your group and it will guarantee your safety as 
far as the Dike," the fox explained. " Then he reached for the axe that was 
strapped to his back.

   The lutin waved his hands. "You keep axe. I trust you. If you not kill us 
yet, you will live up to promise."

   The fox laughed. "Brains and humor, a rare gift in a lutin. What will you 
do with your tribe?"

   "I take the Hammers home," the lutin answered. "And never come back to 

   "I'll hold you to that promise," Misha said.

   The lutin left the Keeper and ran to the head of his people, the white 
banner held aloft. In a moment the group was out of sight.

   "I believe he'll live up to that promise," the knight commented.

   "So do I," Misha added.

   Finbar came running out of the doorway. "Misha, you'd better see this."

   The ferret dragged Misha through the doorway and into the rooms beyond. He 
was drawn passed a stinking pile of rags and furs that marked a Lutins bed 
and through a side door. The fox found himself in a small room that had been 
a storeroom at one time. Scattered around the room were at least a dozen 
keepers. Some were sitting against a wall, others were lying down and still 
others were tending to the wounded. Finbar brought him to a keeper who lay in 
a back corner near the rooms sole window. He recognized the figure instantly.

   "ANDRE!" he shouted and dropped to his knees to hug his old friend.

   Weakly the wolverine returned the hug. "Hi Misha," he said in a whisper.

   "It's good to see you alive," the fox said crying.

   "Jenn is safe?" Andre asked.

   "Yes, she's doing fine."

   "The Keep?"

   Misha hesitated before answering. "The Keep is fine."

   "No it isn't," the wolverine countered. "I can tell by your voice."

   It was a long time before Misha spoke. "A lot of Keepers are dead or 
wounded and most of the lower ward is in ruins, but we've broken the attack," 
the fox explained. "The only Lutins in the pass are dead or fleeing for their 
lives." He looked his friend over and noticed something that horrified him. 
Andre's left leg was gone below the knee. All he had there was a stump 
covered with a dirty and bloody bandage. "What did the Lutins do to you?"

   "The green skins didn't do this," Andre said waving a paw at what remained 
of his left leg.  "The humans who took the gate did it. The Lutins saved my 
life. The chief kept us alive as a safeguard. If the attack failed he was 
going to use us to gain his freedom."

   "It worked," Finbar said.

   "It worked for everybody," Misha added.


End part 80
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