Chapter 1: Fodder!

As your discussion continues, you are somewhat relieved to realize that your erstwhile masters have left you alone, presumably to prepare themselves for the coming battle. You eventually make your way to the slave's Common Room, where you find a fire burning in the central chimney. Food--including actual meat--has been left out along with a selection of cheap wines and a cask of dwarven ale.

Clearly your superiors are trying to make sure that you'll be at your best in the morning.

You tuck in, and Modred finds you huddled together. He laughs when he sees you. "I see you've heard. You five have drawn gate duty. Fresh meat for the 'meat'. Heh.

Modred rubs a scar under his eye. "Gate duty's a tough gig, but if you somehow manage to survive, it can help you make your reputations. That's how I became a foreman--after a raid on a merchant house down in the Upper Quarter. 'Course, this'll likely be worse, bein' an actual drow House and all, but... Eh. Y'know, why am I wastin' my breath on you meat? You'll be dead in twelve hours no matter what I say."

Tarner, having no use for the food and drink, sits down on a chair. "Well, sir, I must point that I, in fact, am not meat. Anything attempting to eat me would end up with broken teeth." Tarner says, at the same time sounding both innocent and sarcastic. To his teammates, he says "Well, my battery is beginning to run low; I'm going to power down for a little while." His head droops, the light behind his eyes dims, and you hear a soft whirring as an internal dynamo begins generating and storing electricity.

"Why you little..." Modred says when Tarner backtalks him. He backhands Tarner hard, throwing him across the room, and by the time that Tarner recovers, Modred's axe is in his hand.

While Tarner's recovering, Modred flexes his hand. "Notice that it's not broken, fool." He looks at the rest of you. "Anyone else got anything smart to say? Otherwise help this one up and help him shut his godsdamned mouth before it gets him in trouble."

Yees . . . tactics . . . well, it's something that, perhaps, you should leave to me. Basically, it's a way of arranging our plans so that we stay alive. Just do what I say, and it should work out fine, yes? Eduardo tells the half-orc with a friendly smile. And thespians, not lesbians. But that's neither here nor there, and frankly, not my concern.

When Tanner arrives, the bard briefly touches his hand before pulling it back. And I guess you're in our group as well. So with two strong members to push and pull the ram, maybe it won't be so bad.


Eduardo knows better than to talk to the 'foreman', and rolls over as the slapping and threats are going about, pretending he's asleep.


"I admire your strength," Fortune replies to Modred's question. She had even considered trying to seduce him at one point, but had not yet found the benefits to outweigh the potential risk.

"Are you okay-ish?" she asks the warforged as she walks over to him. She half-expects a part of the metal to be bent after such a heavy hit. 'It is so hard to read him,' she thinks to herself, 'his face reveals very little when he speaks.' She still hesitates to touch him, instead waiting for him to get back on his own. Either that, or lie completely still, possibly broken.

Tarner stands up. "Running system diagnostic... Yes, I appear to be fine. This steel skin isn't just for show." he says to his friends, then he turns to Modred. "I am truly sorry, Sir. I am joyed that you were not hurt for my insolence." he says with a completely straight look on his face. Of course, it may only be because I want to hurt you more directly, but that's beside the point. he thinks, then powers down and resumes charging.

Gruunk Bloodfist
Half-orc Barbarian (Berserker)
Current HP: 33/33 Bloodied: 17
Healing Surges Used: 0/9 (8)
Resources Used:


Gruunk's eyes narrow and let's loose a low, feral growl. His muscles tense, but he decides to do nothing. He makes no move toward a weapon. Instead, he grabs a hunk of meat in silence.

Modred's appearance seems to have little effect on Nurse as the crone continues to coo softly to herself, until the violence erupts. When the foreman strikes the metal man near her, a momentary flash of hunger washes across Nurse's eyes before subsiding. Instinctively her hands start towards her back as if something were there once upon a time, and then she settles into herself once more.

Head lowered to see nothing more than Modred's feet, she softly reaches out for his arm crying out to placate the minotaur, "My master, my master, let this one lead you to the kitchens. There is no need for you to waste your efforts upon the likes of these my master. I've heard Orga is having a feast prepared for the coming battle, this one is sure you would be needed to taste the delicacies to make sure the likes of these have prepared them well enough to suit my Mistress. Come now, let this one make sure your belly is full, for tomorrow my master will be most busy with his kobolds."

Modred's eyes narrow, and you can tell that he's about to say something sharp to Fortune. However, once Nurse starts to placate him, he calms and allows himself to be led away. After that, the night passes largely without incident.

Unfortunately, the next morning comes less than four hours after you finally bed down. Modred bellows orders, but with something on the order of a five hundred kobolds to muster, he doesn't have the time to menace you directly again. Instead, a nameless common drow soldier wanders over to take charge. Behind him come a pair of orc servitors carrying two massive tower shields--more like planks than shields, really, fully fifteen feet long and five feet wide--along with a collection of crowbars and mallets, an assortment of thieves' tools, and of course, your battering ram. All of these he has dropped at your feet.

"You'll be needing those," he says. "Gear up and fall in. We leave in a quarter-hour." He's gone before you can ask any questions.

The march to House Macjyata is quick but miserable. The Moonstone is dark, leaving the area around House Urbasano in utter darkness, and all that equipment is heavy beyond belief. You stumble along with the rest of the Urbasano army in something of zombie haze, tripping and bumping in the darkness with drow whips driving you every step. If the trek was more than a quarter-mile, merely traveling like this would be a serious challenge. As it is, you are merely tired when you arrive at the assembly point, not exhausted.

Thankfully, Modred arrives carrying a torch. You blink in the smoky light, but it's welcome after the utter darkness of the trip over. Behind him, you can see a squad of eyeless grey hulks--dumb-looking humanoids with bone and stone clubs. An army of kobolds moves in their wake. Wordlessly, Modred moves past you, leading the assault force. He sets them in lines and then yells wordlessly. The hulks roar back, and the kobolds yip with excitement. Modred blows a whistle, and the assault force thunders forward to the attack, heading out into the darkness in wordless fury. Away in the darkness, an answering roar comes up. Battle has been joined.

At last, Modred wanders up to you shaking his head. "Poor bastards. They're the diversion. If there's anything left of them besides ground meat, I'll be amazed. But. It's you five that have the gate duty." Modred leads you around a large stalagmite and points. "Observe. You see those towers..." What you can see is a bunch of torches burning dimly in the darkness atop a set of massive stone towers. "Between those towers, that's the main gate. You five are to assault and open that gate. Then keep going. Once you've reached the main house--or more likely died--Nymeria will pass through and take up the main battle, along with the House Soldiers. Understand? Eh, how could you not, bunch of smart guys like you?"

With that, Modred walks away. Shortly, Nymeria comes up. She's pacing and clearly excited. Sword and Cat o' Nine are out, and she's obviously ready to use them. She looks at you and then looks at the gate. The Cat o' Nine slaps meaningfully.

"Don't just stand there, fools. Go! Unless you'd prefer to play with me instead?"

All around you, the sounds of battle and death ring out. Swords and the screams of death sound loud and clear.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg Gate_1.jpg (83.0 KB, 0 views)


"I would prefer seeing you play with our enemies instead, Mistress Nymeria," Fortune replies to the half-demon with a quick curtsy. "Just give us a moment, and we'll be on our way."

She pulls the others close to discuss what to do. After a quick examination of the shields -- in particular their weight -- and the troops, she suggests a plan. "Tarner and Gruunk, I propose each of you pick up one of those shields each and lead the way. Shortly after will be the other two of you, carrying the ram. Finally, I'll be following you, providing a sort of cover fire -- a distraction for the defenders at the top of the wall."

She looks at the others to see if they more or less agree with her plan. "Don't worry, it is in my best interest that we all survive here." The last comment might seem a bit strange, as if it's more to reassure herself than the others.


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