Ladies in Hades and the Dyval Wears Prada
Reconnaissance on Tolkeen Ch 2 - a Mexican Standoff
The fires of Tolkeen were burning the husk of the city in the distance, illuminating the night sky in an eerie orange and purple kind of light against the low ceiling of cloud cover. Every now and then gun shots, explosions and screams could be heard, their origins no doubt grizzly, malicious and made of the worst intentions. The three, Helldamn the Battle Magus, Trent Logan the Lord Magus and Preacher the gunslinger, knew that this was a war zone. They knew they needed to be combat aware, ready for any insurrection of beast, mage or military CS.
Notifying his group of movement in the far off distance, the preacher adjusted his binoculars. Helldamn too squinted as he put his keen hawk like vision to the test. It was true. In the darkness the pair observed a small group of mages being attacked by a CS military Search and Destroy squad. It was clear that they were outnumbered and on the defense. Loading his long rifle and getting into position The Preacher mentioned that he was ready to lend a hand and that we shouldn’t let these fellows fall victim to the Coalitions wanton discrimination and hate.
Trent asked him to refrain from getting involved as the group knew not who these mages were and what they had planned. Keeping a low profile was paramount. However, now that the battle had raged on for a mele or two, Trent could see that the spell casters were on the losing end of this dust up and it was all he could do to be not involved. Eventually, under the weight of his own guilt, he decided to help the enemy of his enemy. He discretely teleported a P.P.E. amulet to his counterparts in the hopes that it would aid them in their fight. However in the confusion, the lead mage receiving the amulet became confused and was quickly dispatched by laser fire, followed by a rapid succession of grenade explosions. The Battling mages were over run and all looked lost for them.
After some time the CS squad moved on and the three approached the scene of carnage and sadly surveyed the damage. It looked like a typical battlefield scene comprised of body parts, spent shell casing and other grim parts too gruesome to actually describe here. Looking over the damage Helldamn disrupts the group from taking in the horror.
“Here…it looks like someone escaped….they crawled out of the fray!” He had made a successful track humanoids roll.
Pointing to a now disturbed group of trees and shrubs, it appeared that the lone survivor had been hiding a hover cycle nearby, the markings in the dirt were too distinct to be anything else, or so Helldamn explained. The group was now only about half a mile away from the crumbled walls that once guarded Tolkeen from its enemies. Looking around for any signs of life The Preacher called out.
“There! – I see Him! It must be the survivor!! There against that well lit area! Quickly!”
Helldamn and Trent, as quickly as they could, got their bearings and observed the survivor
“Wholy Fuckin Shit! It’s a Sowki!!” The Battle magus could not believe his luck. He thought – if anything this guy might know the location of Pall Mall or at least have some leads.
“Wait a fuckin minute!!…” The Battle Magus had made a successful perception check and subsequently took off like a shot.
“Helldamn!! Helldamn…where the hell are you going??!!!” Trent was concerned now, the Battle Magi were usually more calculated than this.
“Its Fucking PALL MALL!!!!!!!
Weve got to catch him Lord Magus! He has my kid!!!” Helldam screamed as he ran as fast as his Magi legs would take him.
Trent could see him starting to cast the spell ’Fly as the Eagle’.
“Ready Preacher? I guess we’d better get his back – he out of control and Its time to reel him in before he gets too crazy” The Lord Magus cast a spell and the two were flying desperately trying to catch up with Helldamn.
The figure they were all chasing had been traversing the gap between some trees and the wall at a place where he was easy to see, rubble fires lighting his silhouette and face. Even though Trent had never seen Pall Mall, he did know what a Sowki was and he was sure that their target was one. As he and The Preacher closed the gap Helldamn was even closer, but still everyone was at least one mele away. The Sowki on the hover cycle disappeared after taking a sharp right into the city, right where a giant hole had been blasted, allowing him easy access to the interior of the once great city.
Posting up beside the hole, Heldamn listened intently, then cast another spell. Presumably and armor spell. He was intent on capturing his adversary and, without waiting for his team, he breached the hole with a lightning quick turn of the corner. He did not immediately see the hover cycle as he had anticipated. Even a detect concealment roll availed him nothing. At this, he knew he had to be careful. Pall Mall was more tricky than he had imagined.
Progressing slowly and making several successful Track: people rolls, Helldamn was eventually joined by his companions, The Lord Magus and The Preacher.
The ruined city stood before them, massive piles of rubble spilled out in every direction, the remnants of peoples lives strewn about in the utter chaos. Still the three did not see any signs of their query so the progressed ever further into the maze of deconstructed civilization. Around them they could again hear the howls of a city post siege. The city had been completely destroyed leaving only nooks and crannies for the most evil creatures to hide, human, demon and animal alike.
After some time the Lord Magus Trent notified the group that, to him, something looked very off in their environment. This gave them all reason to inspect carefully their surroundings and eventually all but the Lord Magus accepted the terrain as normal. Trent began to cast a spell and suddenly the rubble at their feet disappeared revealing, well, even more rubble. However, dispelling the illusionary terrain did reveal a clear path onward where the three could clearly see the Sowki about 100 meters ahead.
“Fucking Pall Mall – Crafty son of a bitch! It looks like he’s acquired a few servants too – somehow. Guys – do you see his minions with him?” The Battle magi drew his pair of bastard swords and began to make an aggressive pursuit of his most hated enemy and his minions.
“Wait Helldamn – we don’t know what that Sowki has prepared for us – let’s hang back for a few minutes and tail him – they all just turned a corner” Trent said – confirming the sighting.
The preacher simply looked with an eagles piercing vision, spat sharply and grunted in agreement.
The trio progressed cautiously until they were halted by a blood curdling battle cry.
“SCRAAAAWWWW!!!” The sound was most certainly animalistic and the three thought for sure that Pall Mall had unleashed yet another of his summoned creatures upon some innocent victim.
“What the hell is he doing now??
Why the hell is he inside the city?
What does he want here – is his blood lust ever satiated?
No doubt he is here to scavenge and murder his way to prophet
As he said this, the battle mage gripped his killing tools ever tighter. His companions kept a concerned and wary eye on him. They all had progressed another 20 meters or so and now their guard was on full attention. Hearing some scratching and footfalls, they braced themselves for the massive group of sounds approaching them, each turning their backs to each other, not knowing exactly what direction their adversaries would come.
“SCRAAAWWWW!! – SCRAAAWWWW!!” A group of 10 Velociraptors came hurdling towards them, claws and maws ready for bloodletting.
“No doubt he is a coward! He has sent these beasts to occupy us while he makes his escape! What a coward!” Helldamn rang out as he sliced deeply into the first of them.
The Preacher had let loose a volley of lead from his twin six-guns into a group of three and the Lord Magus had craftily set a carpet of adhesion around three more. Those in mele combat were only scratched from this initial attack and they came again at the trio. This time however, Battle Magi Helldamn singled out the biggest and baddest of them, seemingly challenging his might within the group. He was attempting to scare off the leader in the hopes that the rest would follow.
“RAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWRRR!!!!!” Helldamn let loose an ungodly sound from his gut, raspy, deep and sounding like an animal hellspawned himself. He had put every emotion he had experienced in the recent past into this sonic attack and combined with a solid dual rending attack on the massive male raptor, his message was clear.
The Raptor fell to the ground shocked and subsequently, after standing, scampered his way around the three, whimpering and calling his companions. Helldamns gamble had paid off and he was sure that the flock would not return for several hours – if not days.
“Right! – back to the important stuff!” Helldamn sheathed his swords, wiping the raptor blood from the blade as the slid elegantly into their cases.
“What the hell was that Helldamn! A Raaawr?? Seriously? And they just leave? WTF” The Lord Magus was in disbelief.
“Grrrmmmm ” The Preacher spit and looked.
“Listen – if you want to stand here while MY arch nemesis makes his escape – well then poo poo on you. Let’s get going Magus, before this villain escapes me yet again!”
“Fine – but honestly where the hell do you expect to find him now? I mean he’s had several meles to do whatever it is he was doing before he sicked his raptors on us…im sure hes a mile from here” Trent declaired.
“No. He’s around here somewhere. He is here for a reason, and for a power hungry Sowki like Pall Mall, theres always a reason to stick around when the pay out is worth it.
Preacher – can you give us a hand and see if you can spot him?
The Preacher climbed his way up to a pile of rubble and began making perception checks. Helldamn began looking at the ground intently, apparently making some Track: humanoid rolls.
“Shit – too many tracks. I can find him”
“Grrmmm……………..we’ve got trouble
Splugorth – looks like a slaver and his Blind Warrior Women. We’d better get some better cover.” The Preacher advised.
“CRAP! Really? Ive heard of them working for Dunscon but never encountered them. We’d better do our best to avoid this” The Lord Magus Trent began casting and quickly turned invisible.
Helldamn and his group had a wide swath of rubble to cross before they could obtain any kind of concealment. Out they went and as soon as he got into a good position, Helldamn looked back, hoping to provide cover for his comrades if need be.
“Preacher! What the hell are you doing??!!” The Battle Magus had looked back to see his Gunsliger friend standing in the middle of the rubble strewn street.
The preacher stood there, the wind gently tugging at this cassock, the brim of his hat slightly concealing his glare. Fixed and at attention, hands nearly on his holstered six-guns, he was staring head long down the street at an almost mirrored adversary about 30 meters away.
The enemy stood in a posture that was uncannily similar to the Preachers. In fact the two were nearly Identical, both at attention, six-guns ready. The gentle breeze too tugged at this man’s garments made of simple black western type cloth. He too had an almost religious appearance to him as he wore an ancient looking cross for a necklace and had a bible stuffed into his trench coat pocket.
The two glared at each other, waiting for the other to make the first move. From the distance someone called for him.
“Deacon!! What the fuck are you doing??!! We gotta go!” The voice coming form cover unknown, sounded eerily similar to the Lord Magus’.
“One Sec – im creating a distraction.” The Deacon Just stared.
Just then the Splugorth raiding party turned the corner, their guns blazing towards and unseen Velociraptor enemy. The predators had turned their focus to the Blind Warrior Women for now and there was quite a mele going on. The Blind Warrior Women however, were obviously making quick work of the beasts.
“There! That Mother fucker!!! That has to be him!” Helldamn was pointing up towards a pair of falcons, one of which was carrying an obviously oversized load of gear up to a second story shell of an apartment where there was certainly cover from the fray taking place.
The Preacher and the Deacon were still in their stand off. One swayed left – the other corresponding to the right. It was strange for both of them and neither could fully wrap their minds around the situation.
“Preacher! Lets go! Get some cover!” An invisible voice called out from behind a collapsed wall.
Just then a huge laser blast gave The Preacher a new hair cut. The stalemate was over and he broke the dance with his mysterious adversary, jumping for cover as he dodged out of the way.
With some clever use of their actions, the trio of Trent, Helldamn and The Preacher were able to find some cover and lay low while the Splugioth threat passed by, destroying the raptors easily. Clearly they were here for their own reasons and as long as the group didn’t give them trouble, they would be of no consequence.
However, this left the three with yet another lull in leads in finding Pall Mall and his minions. They looked around but in the darkness it was too difficult to find their quarry. They would have to take watches for the night and begin their hunt in the morning.