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Legendary Exploits of Three Not Viking Brothers

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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-09-26, 21:26

Leewan picks up on the building commotion outside.

"Go, do whatever it is you do for this army." He says to Datara.

Leewan slings his lordly bear skin robe over his shoulders and storms out into the chaos of his camp. On all sides men act upon half-remembered standing orders. The hurried officer's helmet rolls to a slow stop at Leewan's feet. The lord looks down at the mud caked helmet and the officer scrambling to retrieve it.

"Amass the soldiers and secure critical resources. Everyone else grabs their tools and moves behind the blockade. Support staff create basic stands for the archers to take clear shots into whatever is crashing down onto us."

Leewan turns his gaze up at his brothers.

"GO! PRESERVE MORALE AND FEND OFF THE BEASTS!"
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-09-26, 21:37

"Bring me my horse!" roars Rob. "We fought off these beasts once before, and we shall smite them again. Light fires that we might see their faces before we crush them down! Men, to me!"

Robillard rushes towards Noske's camp, trusting that someone will find his horse and bring it to him. He rallies as many men to his side as possible as he strides forth.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-09-27, 03:21

Leewan motions for his personal guard to follow him closely. One fetches his handaxe and another his vulpine helmet. He moves towards the battle line and barks out orders at his officers and captains to expedite their defense.

[Warfare Check: 28 on a 6k5, which is 2 less than the maximum possible value on a 6k5. (Very Happy) ]

The soldiers may be afraid and confused with monsters terrorizing the camp but even unholy predators fail to instill fear in man like Leewan Von Griswald. By all accords his step is ordinary and his build only average. Yet his presence of character so overwhelms onlooking ranking officers and soldiers they might think thunder struck in his wake, that the shadow of the reaper hid beneath his cloak and that his storied axe would tear into their throats at the first scent of failure.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-09-27, 19:53

Leewan strides across the ground that make up his camp with malice and bloodthirst in every step. Such is the coldness of his gaze upon his soldiers that even the veterans cannot meet his gaze and he walks as though the dead follow behind him. As Robillard's horse is quickly brought to him the officers organize the men and quickly begin setting up defences around their portion of the camp. Donning his armour, Robillard steals himself against the screams in the distance and trusts his families blade to Gwain as he does so.

Ready for battle, a familiar officer of the scouts approaches the brothers and says "Hope my soldier didn't give you too hard of a time. Sure am glad to have her back for this!" He does his best to force a smile in the circumstances but both Griswalds can tell it is superficial.

Looking back towards Noskes camp he clears his throat and says "My men are to join you in repelling the assault from Lord Noskes camp. I've pulled men from the other scout squads and we're to buy time for defences here to be shored up." Looking at the men assembling around them, Robillard and Gwain see the frightened men looking to them for words of encouragement. Among them, the brothers can see some are the same men who helped hunt the manticores back home while others look green as could be.
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-09-27, 19:59

"Stay strong, men. We shall take these creatures back to the unnamed hell which spawned them. And those of us that fall in this battle will be lifted up to Themis' eternal embrace."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-09-28, 00:42

The lord of Griswald acknowledges the whelpling trying to show initiative.

"Move in tightly packed formations and grab spears or errant tentpoles to use as bracing weapons against oncoming fiends. Engage with blade and axe when they have thrown themselves onto impalement. RUSH!"

Leewan begins jogging forward with the men to reach the camp. On this occasion he foregoes riding a horse, the camp is too cramped to maneuver a horse easily. He directs the groups by his side to weave between tents and fill the width with pointed spears. He aims to use the cluttered nature of this goddess-given battle to limit the creatures movements.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-09-29, 00:56

In the midst of the commotion, Gwain cups his hands to his mouth and lets loose what sounds to be a sparrow's call. This is the signal for all members of Gwain's Guard within earshot to converge on his position.

As the soldiers rush about, Gwain barks, "I've fought these creatures before. Whatever you do, don't let them get on top of you! If you see soldier on the ground, do everything you can to get the beasts off them and return them to their feet!"
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-09-30, 19:38

The trio of brothers and their makeshift counterattack force move towards Noskes camp. Once reaching the fringe of his camp Leewan is satisfied to see that a makeshift barricade is nearing completion at the closest point with several squads of a dozen men each make sure the men working are not attacked. Constructed of stray wood and primarily carts and barrels the wall is coming along well all things considered.

Walking up to the wall Leewan and Robillard look over to see the condition of Noskes camp. While Gwain shouts his motivation to those around and assembles the members of Gwains Guard, Leewan and Rob see that the immediate area outside the walls is abandoned. How many men under Noskes command are desperately trying to fight off their attackers or fleeing is impossible to guess but judging from the sounds of fighting among the sea of tents there's undoubtedly many dying.

As the two Griswalds scan for movement the scout officer comes beside them and looks outside the camp with them. Without looking at either brother he speaks matter of factly "Not going to be an easy way of going in there. Too many tents. Will practically be every man for himself if they decide to ambush us hard. You should stay here, sir."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-09-30, 21:12

"Leewan, we must find Noske. We cannot allow the Lich Lords to decapitate our forces before we strike. Let us lead our men to his tent, and join in the defense there."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-10-01, 22:54

"You will lead with Gwain and Gwain's men directly to Noske's side and ensure his safety. Our forces must tread carefully forwards. We will trample through a path two tents wide, break tentpoles with blade and make no zealous attempt at destruction. Merely what ever we must do to secure open passage for our soldiers to proceed. I remain here to deliver orders from our makeshift ramparts."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-10-01, 23:40

"You heard the man! Move out!" Robillard, seeing the confined battlefield ahead of them, decides to leave his horse behind him. He joins the men on the ground, taking position in the front line, The Rising Dawn already drawn and ready for battle, his shield held up before him.
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-10-02, 12:36

"Archers, to me!" Gwain shouts. "Swordsmen, grab a torch and form a perimeter of light around us. We'll snipe the beasts before they can lay a claw on any of us."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-10-03, 21:16

Trusting his one remaining steed with the men around him Robillard dismounts and squeezes himself through the barricade. Gwain and his men following close behind with each man poised ready as others help the remainder of the ragtag group through. Leewan watches from the walls as the men are forced to spread out among the claustrophobic tents and soon vanish from sight amid a sea of leather; stomping their way through the tents being far too impractical. Coldly and calculated, Leewan overseas the remainder of the barricades construction. As time passes, the sounds of battle call out to the head Griswald but he tempers his bloodthirst with the knowledge this likely is only the beginning of this war.

Eventually, a runner approaches Leewan informing him that Lord Frey is moving through his camp to reach the fighting despite any pleas by the soldiers to wait for an authorization by Leewan. Just as the messenger finishes relaying the information, Leewan turns to see a column of soldiers moving through his camp with Lord Frey at their head with only a breastplate for protection. The sheer audacity of Lord Frey's actions and choice of protection would ordinarily have Leewan thinking the man a fool if it weren't for his reputation as a legendary warrior.

Not stopping for a moment Lord Frey barks orders to his men to begin assisting with the barricades construction and approaches Leewan with audible thuds of heavy boots against rocky ground. Staring into Leewans eyes for what feels like an eternity, the lord finally drops his serious demeanour and grins while speaking "It looks like our friends across the mountain have brought the party to us. I have to say, Lord Griswald, I'm astounded that you aren't in there right now getting your hands dirty. I can't help but notice your two shadows aren't standing here with you; how like your father you are to let your brothers go and get their glory."

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Gwain organizes the seven members of Gwains Guard who answered his call around him with arrows at the ready. The members of Gwains Guard stand around him ready as they can be. Robillard, never one to lead from the rear, stands tall at the head of the men behind him. Moving ever closer towards the sounds of battle, the men move cautiously with the bravest of Gwains Guard, or perhaps most foolhardy, on the outer edges of the ring.

Suddenly, but perhaps not surprisingly, one of the monstrous creatures bursts forth from beneath a tossed over a tent at one of the members of Gwains Guard!
The horrific coals for eyes underlie its horrific nature but, fortunately, the lucky Guardsman avoids being pinned by the beast. As soon as the archers turn to fire on the attacking creature it retreats as quickly as it emerged and glares at the group from the cover of the tents. Gwain can't help but notice the creature pays particular attention to him as it fixes its gaze to meet Gwains.


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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-10-04, 17:24

"Leave some for me, Gwain!" Rob calls out. "I want to feel The Rising Dawn cut through their flesh. And men, don't leave the circle." [Rolled an 8 for my agility test.]
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-10-05, 15:18

Leewan stands tall upon his rampart. At the sound of Lord Frey's grizzled voice he turns slightly to see his household ally making way through the Griswald camp with armed soldiers eager for combat. Leewan turns to fully face the lord.

"The beasts are nightmarish and their origins unknown and yet this action is suspicious. My forces came days earlier than all the rest and only when men were sent in few of number were they set upon by fiends much like these. It is no coincidence they strike at the War Marshal's camp and there may be more to this strike than is now apparent, Lord Frey. I make preparation for ambush and stay vigilant in case this is a distraction, or a test."

Leewan glances back towards the direction of Noske's tent to hear the blood curdling screams of honest men being eaten alive. With a stone cold expression, and the merest hint of twisted joy in his eye he adds:

"There is no better place than here to be audience and conductor to this battle."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-10-05, 19:53

[Gwain rolls 14 on the agility test. In case it's relevant, his passive awareness is 12]

"If you want to stab them so badly, stand at the front and make yourself a target. These are creatures of the night, so perhaps they hunt by smell. Smear some blood on that armor of yours and you'll have plenty of beasts to fight."
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-10-05, 20:28

"Soon there will be blood aplenty on this armor, fear not. But I will not stoop to dip my hands in the lifeblood of our comrades. Any blood that finds me will spray from the veins of our enemies, when I cut them down."

Robillard doesn't move from his current position, because he's already standing at the front of the ring.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-10-05, 20:45

As the brothers choose now of all times to bicker, the creature simply glares and skulks at the right flank of the circle. None of Gwains Guard fire on the creature awaiting Gwains action.

[there's only one creature. Gwain having won the initiative may act first]
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-10-05, 21:00

Wasting no more time, Gwain looses two arrows at the beast.

[23 and 17 on Archery, 6 damage + 1 Piercing per DoS]
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-10-16, 19:36

Both of Gwains arrows fly true and though the beast manages to avoid one arrow, barely taking a scratch, the other hits centre mass and the creature let out an unsettling rasping noise. Not wasting time standing in the open the creature immediately ducks into tents near its position and the arrows pursuing it from others of Gwains Guard fail to find their mark.

Before Gwain can say anything to his brother he hears a shout from Treachery "They're all around us, sir!"

Robillard with his blade ready to swipe at any offending creature glances about to see ten, no twenty separate pairs of coal-red eyes staring at him and his brother from amongst the tents. Each of the creatures has a soft red glow to them and a palpable bloodthirst emanating from the malice in their eyes. Gwain catches Treachery giving him a pleading look as the members of Gwains Guard balk at the overwhelming odds surrounding them.
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-10-16, 21:30

"Stand fast, men!" roars Robillard once more. "If we separate, we die. They'll hunt us down one by one. Stick together, and we'll put up a fight worthy of a song!"

He plants his feet and holds his shield high, preparing himself for the charge.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-10-17, 20:17

Robillard stands defiantly and, in answer, many of the creatures begin to charge at the brother's position. The horrific rasping noise and distant screams create a stark contrast to the usual battles Robillard is accustomed to and in a brief moment of clarity he looks for a sign but is left wanting.

[State your actions in the chat. Anything you wish to say or such can be posted]

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The grin on Lord Frey's face does not diminish as Leewan speaks and the lord palms at the hilt of his sword in contemplation of Leewan's words. As Leewan gazes across the tents Lord Frey responds from below "I am a pitiful example of a commander but I am wary that this may simply be a distraction. These beasts even I have never seen before and I dare not question what black hole they crawled out from but I fear we should be more afraid what is towards the inside of our camp than at its edges."

Frey looks up and down the finishing barricade and furrows his brow. Turning back to Leewan he speaks with suspicion in his tone "I can't help but notice that your giant and guide are not here at the walls."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-10-18, 21:56

"HALT!" Gwain's voice cuts through the darkness as he lowers his bow. "I don't know who you are, but I commend your tactics. You've done well to command these beasts and surround us. I see no need for senseless bloodshed, so what would you have with us?"
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-10-20, 00:11

Gwains shout cuts through the sounds of battle in the distance and all at once the creatures charging stop in their tracks. Robillard still keeps his blade ready but is stunned nonetheless that his brothers desperate, or perhaps calculated, plea worked. As the beasts eye their prey a cold voice calls out from beyond sight "Bloodshed? What makes you think I am not here to stain the ground crimson?"

Robillard and Gwain turn towards the source of the voice and see a slender man clad in shining armour striding towards them from between the tents. Extremely unremarkable except for his eyes which are as shallow as the grave; upon closer inspection, both brothers quickly spot the hound that marks the uniform as belonging to House Noske.

Finally, the man stops fully ten feet from the brothers and speaks with a smirk "Tell me why I should not have you be my pets lunch right now fox?"
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-10-20, 10:25

"You are speaking to us now are you not?" points out Robillard. "Were you only thirsty for our blood, it would already be spilled upon the ground on which we stand. Now quit toying with us. Tell us outright what you want, or cut us down. I have already spent enough time on heretic riddles."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-10-20, 17:55

The man cracks a smile and says "I am here for the one you know as Gisgo. My master wishes him to be brought back to him and I would be loathed to not answer his request. Hand him over and I'll simply let you go and be on my way."
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-10-20, 19:31

"I'll take this from here" Gwain cautions to Robillard.

"How kind of you to come in person" Gwain says to the figure before them, eyes narrowed in trepidation. "As polite as your visit may be, it seems to have caused quite the ruckus. Gisgo was likely ordered to defend the Griswald camp with the other soldiers and he is not with us at the time. However, if you keep your hounds at bay, I will gladly summon him for you."
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-10-20, 21:48

The man's smile fades to a grimacing stare. For a moment the man seems to consider Gwains offer but he instead reaches for a blade at his side and says "Do not think I am so easily fooled fox. I know full well that the man I seek is not at the walls of your ramshackle barricade. Where are you hiding him? His scent is all over you both and I'll have you chowed on until you scream it to the sky with your last breath if you do not reveal him!"

The man remembers himself and he falls back upon a cool and calm facade. Removing his hand from his blade he speaks much more collected "I'm sorry, here I am assuming you are scholars and tricksters when you are but kits around your eldest brother. My pets will find him sooner or later so how about you tell me and I may just spare you. I'll even consider letting one of your accomplices go to the barricades while the others are dined upon and you two held ransom as reconciliation for my outburst."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-10-21, 00:13

Leewan retorts:

"I do not keep personal watch over every contractor and soldier in my employ. Do you suspect they snuck enemies across a hill directly into our frontlines? If so, take it up with them. A giant and a foreigner are not innocuous folk and for now we must expedite rescuing the marshal. You would lead the men from the front?"
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-10-21, 18:17

Gwain relaxes his tense frame and stows his bow in a gesture of submission. "I must say, I was impressed by your ambush, but I'm terribly disappointed in your creativity. You have in your captivity two sons of House Griswald and all you can think to demand from them is the location of two hired helpers? I have a deal to propose, and if you're willing to hear me out, I'm positive and can make it worth your while."


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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-10-22, 00:07

An initial wave of fury fills Robillard's body. Negotiating with heretics?! What is Gwain thinking?!? But before he can open his mouth and ruin the uneasy peace, something stops him.

Perhaps a few months ago, he would have placed it down to Themis' intervention. These days, he's not so sure. Regardless of the cause, his mind suddenly realizes the consequences that would come with bursting into the conversation. He remembers the (many) previous times when his rash actions have cost the safety and lives of those he holds dear.

He remembers Gideon, lying in his arms. The feel of Gideon's last breaths leaving his shattered body has never been far from his mind. He remembers holding Gwain's hand and hearing his brother scream as the monks removed that which he held most dear. He remembers the bodies of Gwain's Guard, torn to shreds by these same foul beasts, all because he had rushed ahead and played the fool.

His mind then turns to the future. He thinks of what he will lose if he ignites this powderkeg right now. So many mysteries left unsolved: Bradford still on the loose, an unknown door hiding a great treasure, a brewing civil war, a brewing religious war, a bastard sister, his lost Guinevere, and Edward.

Ah, sweet, noble Edward. Thinking on him Robillard cannot help but be transported to a happier place, imagining him and his love sitting together in a meadow, praying and fasting together. There would be a tree, he thinks. No more of this mud. No smells of blood and death filling our noses day after day. And we could rest our head on Guinevere's soft side and look at the clouds together, seeing what shapes appear in the heavens.

A growl from one of the nearby "wolves" awakens him from this fantasy. Seeing Gwain put down his bow, Rob tightens his grip on The Rising Dawn. He keeps his mouth closed, but he is not about to leave himself defenseless.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-10-22, 17:42

As Robillard has what could only be described as a midlife crisis that lasts all of ten seconds the man before them considers Gwains words with quiet discontent. Through clenched teeth, he responds to Gwains offer "I have no need for your coin, fox. Whatever it is that you think is worth more than the Crownspliter you had best spit it out now."

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Frey chuckles to himself and says "I do not suspect those you bring into your employment only their willingness to defend you without your brother here. I am afraid, however, that my age does not permit me to take the active role I did in my youth so it appears I will be keeping you company as we march to Lord Noskes defence."

He clears his throat and looks over at his soldiers before continuing to speak "My men are ready whenever you are Lord Griswald.
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-10-23, 05:03

"Use our traditional torch signals and men will be redirected as needed." Leewan turns to observe the progress of the tent-trampling forces already moving ahead.

"Whatever secret actions are unfolding here someone must quell this distraction. Let the men go marching Lord Frey."

Leewan stretches out his arm and points past the shoddy ramparts and into the chaos of man, beast and camp.
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-10-23, 08:51

"The Crownspliter? We know not of what you seek. However, I will gladly turn the heretic over to your company. He is a coward and a traitor, and deserves the worst of deaths."

Robillard suddenly sees a way to get rid of the foul creature who (in his view) caused him to lose Guinevere.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-10-23, 19:37

The slender man does not respond to Robillards outburst but continues to glare at Gwain
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Post by Gwain von Griswald on 2017-10-29, 11:50

"I can see I've piqued your curiosity. Smart man. My offer is this: House Griswald is an ancient one, and as sons of Griswalds, we know many a secret that, in the wrong hands, could bring our nation to its knees. In fact, recently we have become privy to knowledge that I think would be rather to your advantage. However," Gwain flashes a knife... to his own throat! "If you bring harm to any of my men, your chance of obtaining this secret vanishes with me. Oh, and my brother Robillard would sooner eat his own tongue than fraternize with the enemy. So, what say you, houndmaster?"

As Gwain stares intently at the figure before him, he twists the knife menacingly against the skin of his throat. While this gambit might seem suicidal, it has an ulterior motive. As the blade turns, it catches beams of moonlight from the cloudless sky [destiny point for minor scene alteration of need be] and casts them towards the Griswald camp. Anyone there looking in their direction would see the unmistakable flashes of a distress signal.
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-10-29, 22:27

"That's right!" Rob covers his shock by taking a step forward. "Although I would be quite willing to fraternize with you if it would mean the death of Gisgo and his mutant companion, I would never give up the secrets of House Griswald!"

Mostly because I have no idea what they are, thinks Rob. By Themis, I sure hope Gwain knows what he's doing.
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-10-30, 19:46

The man bites at his lip, pondering Gwains ultimatum. With nought a glimmer of empathy in his eyes, he responds to Gwain "As tempting as it may be I cannot get one like you out of this camp." He whistles and the beasts edge closer towards the surrounded brothers. Close enough that Robillard can feel the rasping of the beasts breathing in his bones the man whistles twice and they cease their advance. Offhandedly, he remarks to Gwain "If you would care to save yourself the pain I suggest you drag that knife across your throat now."

Looking at Rob he nods and says "Fraternize away then. Where is Gisgo? My offer of living still stands."

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Lord Frey does not respond to Leewan march orders but a man from the soldier's ranks shouts the order to begin marching behind the progressing tent crushing. Leewan is satisfied to see the tent crushing progressing at a rapid pace and Frey's men form a pike wall behind them to impale any onrushing Lich beasts that may jump out. For a moment Leewan takes the time to imagine the gore that such a suicidal charge would result in and can almost feel a shred of joy emerge from the thought.

Interrupting this almost tranquil moment for Leewan, a light begins to miraculously dance across his eyes. Focusing, he quickly identifies the source as coming from halfway between the current progress of tent trampling and Noskes camp; the very same direction his brothers left in.
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Post by Robillard Griswald on 2017-10-30, 19:54

"Ha! That heretic scum is never around when you need him. He appears only to ruin the lives of the faithful, leading us into beasts such as your wolves and giving away our faithful steeds. Perhaps, if you give us a moment, we could find him for you."
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Post by InteroVegas on 2017-11-02, 05:24

Leewan squints at the flame amidst the chaos. Some matter of import must surely be happening there.

"March the men towards that glint. There is a bastion of resilience there, either our men or Noske's stand against the enemy. Create a line of support!"
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Post by Dekaru on 2017-11-02, 16:20

Before any response can be given to Rob a loud shout pierces the air from the direction of the Griswald camp. The man glances in the direction the noise came from and his eyes go wide with realization. Turning to Gwain in rage he practically growls at Gwain as he speaks "You blathering bastard! You'll be chow before any help can come to you!"

As the man makes to instruct his beasts to attack he is suddenly struck sideways revealing an arrow shaft protruding from his shoulder. Before Gwain or Robillard can respond to this event two more arrows strike the man in his torso and he collapses in a heap on the ground. The suddenness of the man's death leaves the brothers a moment to act.

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Leewan's commands echo through the lines and the officers shout orders to the men to make for the glint. Leewan sees out of the corner of his eyes a trio of his archers atop a ramshackled tower peering out into the tents. One of the men point towards the glint and all three raise their bows taking aim in the same direction. The one that pointed fires first and the other two fire a moment later. After a few seconds, all Leewan can see is the smirk on the trio's face leaving him to assume they hit their mark.

-------

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