Monday, June 9, 2014

The Bitter Blades: The Liberation of Thorn Island Part 3 (Gore's Last Stand)

Continuing the story from Part 1 and Part 2 in the words of Gore the Kobold (reposted with permission from Alan Knightly)

Let Gore tell you, Gore is the greatest kobold hero of all time, and yet, even Gore is not immortal.

As Storm recorded previously, Gore went to the Isles of Thorns with a human girl, a very tall man, and a halfling, to save the humans from their undead problem on the island. Gore was quite surprised when the girl found the necklace that made all the skeletons be nice to us. Since they were not bothering us, we went to check out the buildings in the old keep.

The girl, Storm, lead the way to an old smithy. The tall man, Tom, seemed pretty excited by a big hammer that he saw as we walked up. It was big, and surprisingly shiny for a thing that was supposed to be several generations old. Anyways, Gore was more excited by the deep croaking noises that we heard as we got closer. As Tom got close enough to reach the hammer, there was a really bright flash. Gore was completely blinded, but the others told him that four frogs, almost as big as Gore, leaped out from the rubble, their skin shining to bright that their bones could be seen underneath. Gore heard lots of wet, smacking noises, and, by the time he could see again, the frogs looked more like an icky, oozing mess than frogs.

Storm had got bit by one of the frogs, not to badly though. Tom put a bandage on her arm and we went off to look for more shiny things. Gore hoped they were shiny like the frogs, and not shiny like the hammer. We were supposed to be being heroes after all, and real heroes have no need for shiny things.

Most of the little, old, wooden buildings around the keep were not that interesting. Kitchens, granaries, stables, storehouses. Slimes and mold everywhere. The skeletons kept following us unless Storm told them not to…then they’d follow us again until she told them again…and so forth. Gore did find some tasty mushrooms in one of the granaries that made him feel very brave, not that Gore didn’t feel brave already. Gore is very brave.

Then we came to an old barracks. Lots of beds in there, and lots of ghosts. Human and dwarf ghosts mostly. Transparent and whispy. Nothing you could hit, and nothing to hit us with either. The halfling, Kade, got scared and ran outside, but Storm held up her bronze necklace and said “Shestnik” to them. All at once they burst into a chorus of howls, moans, complaints, wails, and other lamentations over their fate and the fate of their families.

The ghosts were really loud, and didn’t make much sense, but eventually Tom understood enough of what they said to find a loose floorboard with a big emerald and a tattered, old book underneath it. The book told about the fall of the keep, armies of orcs and goblins assaulting the walls, and an evil spell that a guy named Ferran Martinez, a priest of the human’s Hammer-god, used to turn all the guards into ghosts and skeletons so they could keep guarding the keep even after they lost the fight. Gore had to read it out loud to everyone. Gore was surprised that the others were so dumb that they could not read a simple book. That’s why Gore is the hero and they are not I guess.

As we were walking out of the barracks, the ghosts still yelling in our ears, Nat, the dwarf who was driving out boat, came running inside the keep. The skeletons ignored him, since Storm had told them to let dwarves in. He was yelling something about orcs.

Sure enough, right on his heels came orcs. LOTS of orcs. Gore counted fourty before he stopped counting and started thinking about fighting instead.

The skeletons moved to intercept the orcs as they came through the gate. They killed a bunch of orcs, but were outnumbered and got smashed.

Tom threw the smith’s hammer at the orcs, smashing one’s head, then, surprisingly, it reappeared in his hand. Nifty. Storm threw a bunch of knives, hurting a few orcs.

Then some hobgoblins came in behind the orcs. They had bows. Storm yelled at Tom to bang his other hammer on the ground. We all thought she was daft, but Tom did it…

Tom banged the hammer three times. A bolt of lightning shot down from the clouds, hit the hammer, then went shooting into the orcs, burning a bunch of them to cinders. Not enough of them, there were still close to twenty orcs left, plus the hobgoblins, with arrows.

Arrows are not good, let me tell you. Tom kept throwing the smith hammer, but we didn’t have any other things to throw. So everyone ran back into the barracks. Not Gore though. Gore is a hero.

Once everyone else was inside the barracks with the screaming ghosts, Gore slammed the door, stuck a big stick through the handle, and turned to face the orcs. Alone. Because Gore is awesome like that.

Did I mention that Gore is really good at killing orcs. And that Gore is the son of Kurtulmak the Survivor, God of the Kobolds. And that kobolds are so much more awesome than humans.

Anyways. Gore put his back to the door, grabbed his trusty club, prayed to his father for luck, and waited for the orcs to come.

They came. And they died.

Gore smashed the orcs one after the other. Dodging their blows. Crushing their ugly orc heads with his trusty club. One. After. Another.

Gore fought and fought, and orcs died and died. Ten minutes later, all the orcs were dead. All of them. At Gore’s hands.

Gore forgot about the hobgoblins though. And their bows.

Bows suck.

The last thing Gore remembered of his great heroic last stand was how much it hurts to get an arrow in your eye. Gore thinks he heard Storm crying before he died. But it was hard to hear her over the screaming ghosts. Then Gore didn’t remember anything else. Ever. Because Gore was dead.


But Gore was a hero!