Chapter 2: The Lizard Hunt


Fortune moves up behind Eduardo. "Shouldn't we try to take them alive?" she asks in the middle of the fray. She observes the battlefield for a moment before making her move. With a subtle mental manipulation, she confuses one of the kobolds into believing one of its friends is really an enemy, and only hitting it from behind will hurt it. She mentally grins with satisfaction as the kobold dances to her commands, stepping in a trap and badly wounding its friend in the process.

'That may not have been the best move if we want to take them alive,' she considers, 'but I still think it was a good move.'

Eduardo yells some words of encouragment to Gruunk as the half-orc bloodies one of the kobolds he's fighting, and then, seeing that the party decided to attack the southern flank, grudgingly moves to help them out. With Fortune disabling one of the kobolds, he concentrates on the other, letting out a stream of psychic abuse at the swordsman until he's too distracted to be able to perform any kind of coherent attack. There. And no . . . the more we capture here, the less time we get to spend topside.

Gruunk and Tarner each bloody their kobolds, and Fortune's powers send Tarner's sprawling into the man trap. The thing yips, but the jaws of the trap snap shut like a vice, cutting the poor creature in half.

However, as Eduardo moves up, he sets off a second man trap. He still manages to get his spell off, killing the last of the kobold swordsmen, but ouch! Man traps hurt.

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Gruunk Bloodfist
Half-orc Barbarian (Berserker)
Current HP: 27+3/39 Bloodied: 19
Healing Surges Used: 0/9 (9)
Resources Used: Guardian's Defense, Brutal Slam


Eyeing the slinger next, Gruunk circles around to the side of small creature. As he moves, he loses his cool, the veins bulging in his arms. With a savage scream, his feet thunder up to the small slinger bringing his axe down hard trying to cleave the beastie from head to foot.

Seeing the kobold's body locking up and trying to capitalize, Abeyla moves up and around behind sling wielder. In one fluid motion, she swings her two-handed sword round in a circle, letting one of her arms fly out wide to increase her reach with it as she stays outside of retaliation range.

Gruunk and the mysterious woman who calls herself Ayelba both miss with their attacks. Still, the carnage is enough to frighten off the two remaining kobold javelineers, both of whom light out down the tunnel as though their tails were on fire.

Closer on, the kobold slinger seems to realize that it’s down to kill-or-be-killed for him. As such, he lashes out Gruunk with a short sword. It’s not enough, though, and a moment later, your gentle half-orc companion cuts the slinger in half with his great axe.

Eduardo curses as he's caught in the trap, but frees himself in time after the battle winds down. Well, that was simple enough . . . He grumbles, looking around the kobolds they killed, and rifles through the nearest body while the caravan comes up.

They had quite a few traps set up, and a nice little ambush here, with these earthen banks to hide behind. Perhaps there's a lair nearby.

Looking around, Eduardo realizes that the lair is obviously nearby. In fact, it's a cave entrance directly south, to the tactical left off the main road.

Tarner looks around, expecting more kobolds. "Hmm... That was easy. Too easy... HRRRKKK!" The last noise is produced by a burst of static through his speaker, as he falls to ground, clutching his chest. The blue spellscar on his forehead flashes frantically, pulsating faster and faster until the blue image disappears. The aura around Tarner grows intense and malefic, a scalding heat engulfing the nearby area. Suddenly, Tarner stops his frantic movements of pain, and stands up, his face pointed towards the ground. He just barely manages to force out words. "The book. It gave him ideas! He read it... Through me! His power... Stronger than ever! He absorbed the scar, used it as fuel... So hard to resist... The stars have left me!" He raises his head, and screams in fury. "DO YOU HEAR ME, BEAST? I AM NOT A TOY TO REPROGRAM AT YOUR WILL! I! WILL! NOT! SUBMIT!" It's fairly easy to tell how angry he is. Approaching him now would probably not be a very good idea.

Gruunk Bloodfist
Half-orc Barbarian (Berserker)
Current HP: 45/45 Bloodied: 22
Healing Surges Used: 1/9 (11)
Resources Used:


Covered in the slingers blood and breathing heavily, just stares at the corpse a moment...then he breaks into a huge laugh. He looks over at Tarner and frowns. "Is he broken? Do we need to trade him in for a new metal man?" He looks at him from a distance for a few moments to calm down. Then walks over (presumably when its safer) and knocks on his chest to make sure it's still have that hollow sound. "You ok-ay Tarr-ner? funny."

Gruunk shrugs and plops down next to a man-trap. He starts cleaning his axe smiling happily. He listens to Eduardo and then looks back to the barrier. "Very smart, 'wardo. Yah, you right."

He goes back to detailing his axe and suddenly his eyes are cast to the horizon. He spirit leaves his body and the world around him freeze in time. Looking down at himself, he sees a warm glowing light in the darkness and it inexplicibly drawn to it. He grunts and floats into it and finds himself in a dense forest surrounded by animal spirits running and playing among the trees. He sees the Great Hunter, watching these animals with respect deciding the best time to strike. Stoneroot towers above them like a vast shadow of darkness watching and the stone he is carved from. The shadow begins to darken and twist and the forest whisks past him ilike a green whirlwind. Faster and faster it spins until the green firms and wraps around him as he finds himself wrapped in the coils of the World Serpent. Eater of worlds, destroyer of time. It hisses at him in his head, You do not belong here. It is not your time. Learn. Fight. Then Diiiie.

Gruunk blinks as he is thrown back into his body as if he never left. He looks down at his right arm and see a translucent green snake wrapped around it for a mere moment before fading into memory. He has been marked with the World Serpent. Gruunk shrugs and stands up.

"Okay, I ready. Me in front?" asks the berserker.


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