Thursday, May 10, 2012
Lone Wolf Reborn: Episode 7
Off to a great start folks. Here I am, less than a week in, and already behind a day. Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week.
Hey, better late than never, right?
In case you've missed past episodes, see these links...
Lone Wolf: Reborn - Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Chasing the sounds of battle, you burst into a clearing, where a fierce battle rages across a stone bridge. At the heart of the bridge, Prince Pelathar battles a massive, ugly Gourgaz in an epic clash. Pelethar thrusts, drawing blood from the Gourgaz--but with his sword extended, he does not see the Gourgaz's massive, black axe rising above him.
You cry out a warning, but it is too late! The Gourgaz slams his axe down, and the Prince only barely ducks aside to avoid the worst of it! Blood sprouts from his shoulder, and the Prince is down!
You rush forward, racing between the thinning ranks of the Prince's men. Just as the Gourgaz raises his axe for the finishing blow, you dart in and catch that deadly blow on your sword. Sparks fly, and the Gourgaz looks up to see who challenges it now. When it sees your face, its tongue darts out and its lips pull back in a deadly grin that shows all its teeth.
You must fight to the death!
[Okay, we have Weapon Skill 19, and the Gourgaz has Weapon Skill 20. We have some skills that *can* help in combat, but none that currently *do*. We're still wielding an axe, so don't get the bonus from our specialization with broadswords. And Mindshield won't help this time, because he doesn't have any mental attacks. Here goes!]
Round 1: You lunge in, hoping for a quick kill, and you score a deep wound--but the Gourgaz punishes you with a blow from his axe before you can get back out. Neither of you came out ahead in that exchange, but the monster is bigger than you. If it comes to a battle of attrition, you're going to lose. You'll have to do better than that. (-4 STA each)
Round 2: Fighting more cautiously, you still can't keep the Gourgaz off you. But now it's your turn to make him pay--while you take a glancing blow, you cut a deep, bleeding wound into the beast's side. You half-grin, but you know the fight is long yet. (-6 to him, -3 to you.)
Round 3: As the blood gets flowing, you find your pace. Your old training comes back to you, and you see how predictable the Gourgaz' movements are. With a surge of confidence, you swing your blade in an eloquent movement to trick the monster into thinking he has an opening. He falls for the bait! Your blade bites deep, while you take no more than a scratch. (-9 to him, -1 to you.)
Round 4: The Gourgaz is bleeding heavily, and for just a second, you relax your guard, thinking the fight almost over. But the beast lunges for you with startling speed, his strength undiminished by his injuries! You barely fend him off with a counteroffensive. The two of you trade wounds, blow for blow, then part back again, each of you panting heavily. You know this fight will test your skill to its limit--and your limit is growing frighteningly close. (-4 each)
Round 5: Narrowing your eyes, you sharpen your mind. There is no more room for mistakes. The Gourgaz lets out a roar of battle, the elation of combat thrilling in its voice. It grips its axe and charges. You see its motions play out in your mind. You grip your sword, lower yourself and race forward to meet its charge. Blood puffs from its snout with each breath. Time seems to slow. The axe descends, and you can see every notch on its blade--a blade that carries a promise, an offer, of your death. Politely, you decline the offer, ducking slightly lower so that the axe whistles harmlessly past your head. Using the strength from your bunched knees, you push up, spinning your body to swing with all your force. Your own axe meets the Gourgaz's midsection with enough power that you almost don't feel the resistance. You complete your spin, seeing bits of monstrous scale, bone and intestine spraying away. (-10 to him, -0 to you)
When you complete your step, you look back over your shoulder to see the Gourgaz, now split almost in two by your blow, shuddering to its death at the center of the bridge. A ripple goes through the Darlord's creatures as they see their leader follow, and they fall back to the trees with cries of rage and panic.
The Prince's white-armored men move up to form a shield wall around their fallen leader. You kneel by the Prince, and immediately see that he does not have much time left. He clasps your hand, but you cannot help but notice the pool of blood beneath him spreading, even as he tries to speak.
The dying Prince looks up into your eyes and says, ‘Kai Lord, you must take a message to my father. The enemy is too strong, we cannot hold him. The King must seek that which is in Durenor or all is lost. Take my horse and ride for the capital. May the luck of the gods ride with you.’
Sadly, you incline your head and promise that you will do so.
TO BE CONTINUED...
[No choice this time. Didn't want to keep going when the scene is clearly over. We ended on page 82 after a difficult fight. We're down to 16 STA, back up to 18 after the death scene with the Prince, due to Healing. More tomorrow!]