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 The Odyssey of the Penal Company.

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Hrok
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PostSubject: The Odyssey of the Penal Company.   Mon 23 May 2011 - 20:28

(First the backstory. Also, I'm backlogged from the start, so I'm going to end up multi-posting. Hope that's not an issue. Also, I'm describing events of actual games narratively.)

Darza looked through the bars of the jail-wagon. The skeletal horses pulling the wagon were galloping in sync. It was unsettling. He considered escape, using his considerable force to try prying a corner open. The hunched figure on top of the coach was undoubtedly dead. Its ankles had flaps of desiccated skin showing beneath the thin pants. The bars were going nowhere. Darza the Bloodletter, they called him. Over twenty years ago, when he was alive. For twenty years, he'd been without purpose. A unique thrall to some low-life vampire. In life, Darza had been a chaos knight, leading a small group of Marauders to map and plunder. He'd taken his thirty or so men and wandered the land, moving from farm to homestead and back, putting the torch to everything it would reach. When they crossed the border into Sylvania, they were ambushed and Darza was not killed instantly. He became the plaything of his master. When his master was politically outmaneuvered by a rival, Darza was put on trial. He had no idea what a trial was, but he was sat down into a chair and told that he was guilty of politics and was being punished by banishment. To some human city. It was already destroyed, he only had to collect some rocks. Sounded stupid. Sounded easy. He was assigned a team.

*sigh* The team. He looked at the others in the wagon. Vyet the Necretard, he was called by the guard. Tried to raise a host of corpses, and he succeeded. But they turned on each other, and Vyet. His master was, unfortunately, present, and was assaulted. He'd been given quite a scar, so this was to be his redemption. Then there was Buford. Some kind of bum, found living in a crypt, but not eating anything. He simply had nowhere else to go. he should have been crucified and left outside the crypt. If his kind were unwanted, why was he not made to be an example to others? Ugh. And Clovis. Some kind of political malcontent, but of such low breeding that his blood was unworthy of consumption, and it pleased his captor slightly more to send him on a petty quest a thousand miles from home than to stab and raise him. Lastly, Ned. Apparently he kidnapped some protected merchant's daughter for some reason. If the merchant's master couldn't protect his spawn from one ugly living man, he should look for a new master...

The city loomed in the mist before him. He saw a row of wall, which while old, did not seem necessarily abandoned. In fact, it looked like it may have movement on the parapets. The cart stopped and the back door dropped, releasing the prisoners. The five men piled out, and stood there. Darza walked to the front of the cart. The skeletal horses must have been some kind of temporary undead. As he watched the pair, the jawbone dropped off the nearest one. Khorne-forbid he could get a mount like a true knight of chaos. He turned to his "team" and took off his helmet, revealing an empty eye socket and a massive gaping wound on the lower jaw, like a second smile. "You. Follow me. Obey or die. I care not for any of you."
He spit on the ground, to emphasize his point. Good pep talk. As they entered the city, they passed by the dried corpses of several people. He looked back at the dead eyes of the driver. "Bring him too." The pathetic necromancer gestured and did some kind of foul incantation and four corpses trudged behind the group. He looked at the necromancer and put his helmet back on. "I find them guilty. Of weak will."
Darza chuckled and entered the city gate...


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PostSubject: The Pool. Fought against end-game Skaven and Middenheimers.   Mon 23 May 2011 - 21:10

One of his dregs got wind of a horde of stone on his trip into town. The rumor was the only thing sparing his life, as he also came in smelling of beer. Darza was no fool, but they took advantage of his inability to go into town. This would need to be dealt with. Now which one was it? With the same weapons and armor, they all looked the same to him. Fancied themselves fighters, but they hadn't the faintest idea how to kill a man. An ax did not a god make. And the necromancer there, with his fancy robes. He could keep these pitiful man-bits together, which was his only actual use. He was still fragile.

The group mobilized, at a slow pace because of the zombies. They reached the pool and saw the still water. It was red. Darza felt his thirst welling up within him. But he wasn't certain if he needed to feed or kill. Either way, something was going to die. He saw shadows emerging from the mist. Humans. Massive burly men, with all kind of stupid contraption. He would feast. He knew this would be easy. However, more shadows emerged from his left. Little rats-things. Lots of them. Too many for even a bloodthirsty chaos knight vampire to take. And they appeared to have some kind of spellcaster. How did that even work? Darza's only thought was that without these stupid zombies, he could have raided the pool and been back at camp already. He looked his team down. He could taste their fear. From all save the zombies, but they had as much fear as ability. They wouldn't swing this battle at all. Pep talk time. "Blitz the pool! Don't come back until you have rocks!"

The three dregs feared battle, but they feared their captain more. Buford, Clovis, and Ned raced toward the pool. Vyet attempted to advance, but was held back by Darza's arm. "Not you."
The zombies shambled forward. They wouldn't even be involved in this fight, Darza mused. He advanced in his heavy armor, with his chaos sword and shield, both heavily worn down by age. They had all been re-gifted to him by his "judge" after spending the last twenty years sitting on some skeleton. All so his captor could get some laughs. Twenty years of rust and cracked leather straps. Nothing felt right anymore. He felt his rage well up and charged into combat. The dregs were in the pool, sifting wildly. The humans were advancing, as were the rats-things, though the rat-things were faster. One of the dregs, Ned, whooped in triumph and sprinted back toward Darza, who was to cover their retreat. Buford and Clovis were wasting precious seconds, and the armor was slowing him down. He wouldn't get there in time. As the two turned to follow Ned, the ratmen descended upon them. Darza could hear their terrified screams. Cowards. He looked to the leader of the humans and gave a slight nod of the head. The human returned the nod, scowl still on his face. This day, living and dead would fight an enemy that ate you regardless of your state of decomposition. He charged into the throng of rats, swinging wildly. His men had stopped their screams, but mostly because the ratmen had pried the stones off the boys. This is the best the men donated to him could do. Darza could only pull so much weight. The men weren't soldiers.

He heard a frightened yell behind him and saw Vyet, who was shooting his bow at some sneaky ratmen that had somehow flanked them. The zombies plowed into them, but they weren't doing much. A flesh wall, protecting a real asset. An incompetent one, but one all the same. Sword and shield were the arms of the monster in the combat. One of the rats struck him, sinking a dagger deep into an area where a plate had shifted due to the aged strapping. He was suddenly overwhelmed by frustration at his own impotence when he heard a terrible explosion. Off to his right, one of the humans stood, holding some kind of smoking stick thing. Several ratmen lay on the ground, clawing at smoking wounds. With that, the pincer closed, and the humans crashed violently with the beasts. Darza eyed the captain, knowing his own weakness, and the humans' penchant for greed, and stuck his sword deep into one of the last skaven to consider jumping so powerful a creature. He backed away, knowing a loss when he saw it. His two men were down, but he could pick the field for them later. He made his hasty exit from the field, guiding Ned away. Suddenly, with a shriek, the ratman caster charged the pair and Darza threw himself in front of the Dreg. He blocked the hit and returned a vicious backhand, and the beast sprawled on its back. He needed to remind himself to sharpen the sword. The glared at Ned powerfully, and the terrified man gave a yell and hacked at the thing until it stopped moving. Behind him, his zombies were being chewed up. Darza looked around at the carnage and saw no hope of victory.

"RETREAT!!"

He looked back at the human captain, who gave a sinister smile and a nod of the head. Darza felt his lips curl into a sneer...
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PostSubject: 5-Man Fight.   Mon 23 May 2011 - 21:37

Morning. His men had been retrieved and were being tended to by Vyet who was...maybe not as much a doctor as he should have been. Darza heard the diagnosis. "The ugly one is physically fine. Maybe a bit touvhed in the head. He hasn't spoken a word to anyone yet. He'd make a decent zombie. The other one is damaged. I recommend sleeping, or he'll be feeding the zombies by nightfall. Uh, also, I replaced our dead zombie. And got him a friend."
Ugh. Darza needed soldiers, not these...things. On the plus side, he'd seen Ned hanging about the outskirts of camp, practicing with his weapon. He was good now. Somehow probably as good as Darza. (Rolled a pair of 7's on his two advances. Hell yeah!) He noticed Vyet pacing in circles, talking to himself. Occasionally referencing some book he'd brought. HA! Darza needed no books. Books didn't teach him to wield a blade. Books never saved a man from death. Books didn't make him what he is today. Stupid little man. He was unnecessary. Claiming to have power but being completely unable to show it. Pitiful. He had followed the humans, hoping to poach a bit off of them, as they did from him. Give and take is a dangerous game though. he kept his camp far away, and lit no fires. He heard whines coming from the living at first, but they quickly subsided. Raw food? Be a man. When the humans gathered their things and were off, he followed them, into a vast glade. He figured it would be more wise to emerge further down, that they wouldn't suspect him of treachery...though that is exactly what happened.

He emerged from the buildings into what must have been a park. Trees, hills, some towers and ruined buildings. Residential zone? Bah. The whole place reeks of the living. He noticed that this area must have been popular. Beastmen emerged from the city straight across from him. Orcs to his left, and...more undead to his direct right. He motioned with his sword that he sought a truce and the female vampire acknowledged it. The humans emerged across from his allies. This was going to be bad.

Darza's men were in position, and the orcs took position on a cliff, and drew their bows. Clovis screamed like a madman and charged the nearest foe he could see. A minotaur. He had a single zombie following his lead, with the rest of the zombies providing a shield from the greenskin's arrows. The minotaur put Clovis and the zombie down easily enough.

The greenskins seemed adverse to attacking the beastmen, so some kind of sub-truce must have been made. Under normal circumstances he would have openly allied with the beastmen, but Darza was continually reminded of his switched banner. The orcs fletched his zombies, and they slowly began to go down. One of them, a goblin, of all things, decided to sprint into the zombie horde, and was followed by his beastman allies. Darza charged one of them; some kind of lesser beastmen, and mashed his face into the ground, with a sword in his back. He suddenly realized that he'd been so preoccupied with his situation that he'd forgotten any sort of tactics. His allies still far off, and his men being double-teamed. He looked at Ned, who'd been at his side the entire time. The gravity of the situation suddenly hit him. this would be another loss. He looked to the sky and shouted "FLEEEEE!!!"


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PostSubject: Breakthrough: Orcs.   Mon 23 May 2011 - 22:37

"All I'm saying is, like it or not, I am your second in command. You could try giving me some responsibility."
Vyet's face appeared more serpentine after each battle. The city must be mutating him somehow. His skin seemed to be green and dry, and Darza could swear he was seeing a forked tongue in that mouth. "You are no more my second in command than that guy." He pointed to a zombie. "You have done nothing. My last second, Graeykl, was a beast in man's skin. Give me reason and I will give you respect."
Vyet leaned in close. "There are rumors of more greenskins coming in through the East gate. It may be an easy win. All we have to do is drive them off."
"Information is still nothing. Make me respect you. Though I'll take your advice. Let's move."

The greenskins were slowly advancing on the city gate. A handful at most. Easy prey. He had his men spread out to intercept. Staggering zombies and the like. Vyet positioned himself in a ruined temple and gave Darza an evil glare. Darza figured he'd pay for that one later. He positioned himself in the floor of the temple, alongside Ned. The orcs made their move, and were met with resistance. A giant orc with a boar tusk helmet roared and charged through the gate, followed by another massive orc with a two-handed axe. Good, enough to sate his thirst. He heard Vyet mumbling some words as the orcs advanced. Suddenly, there was a blast of black smoke from the earth and a thousand skeletal hands reached up, dragging into a grave. The orc howled in defiance as he was dragged asunder. The other orc seemed nonchalant about his commander's fate and plunged forth, engaging Darza. The goblin nearby seemed to give Darza some added fervor, and he managed to put the goblin into the ground, then rake his rusted steel across the orc's face, before it dropped to its knees. It looked up with one eye, its other gushing blood, and with a kick he sent it down without hope of it getting back up.

Outside of the building, Buford was left alone with a zombie to try and break the orcs. He'd been affectionately calling this one Maggot. Maggot had apparently been a privateer. And not too old. He'd maybe been stewing in the river for a month or so. Been nibbled on by all kinds of critters before Vyet had gotten to him. Either way, Buford felt more secure having someone next to him...even if they would kill him without thought, given the order. He awaited the orc host and heard them coming. Some kind of large red thing, with a mouth full of teeth. It had two legs, but they both ended in long claws. A goblin followed it, and a second...thing...followed the goblin closely. All three of them charged the man. He was confident, even though his leg still had painful pangs rolling through it. The things both hit at once, and he saw the world go black beneath the beast...

Darza heard a high-pitched scream and went outside to see two squigs atop Burford. That man needed to be whipped into shape. Literally, whipped. No one slacks in Darza's army. He charged the goblin and skewered the beast, raising it up to eye level, that he could see the life flee the thing's body. Pitiful creature. And yet, it bested his man...sickening. He looked out to see another orc with a bloody weapon advancing into the city, and called his men to flee. They'd spilt blood this day, but not enough to break the resolve of the greenskins. He motioned for his men to move out, and the undead fled the field, happy with their loss thusfar.

After the orcs had come back and dragged off their dead and wounded, Darza did a tally. All the zombies were present. The only one missing was Clovis. He found the body behind a tree. There were so many pieces that he was actually impressed with the orc who did the deed. Buford's arm was mangled and needed a bit of time to heal. If that man spent as much time training as he did healing, maybe he wouldn't be wounded so much, Darza mused. Vyet was rather confident that he could stitch the dead man back together, and make a zombie of him. That was one way to solve his mental issues. The vampire chuckled over that one. Ned seemed disheartened about the whole affair, and Darza realized that he needed his men in ship shape. After all, with Buford spend more time in the infirmary than the field, and Clovis having far more surface area than ever a man should have, he needed his men in good mental shape.

"Dig a hole. Let it rest."

He did need to replace the man though. It wouldn't be hard to find an incompetent moron in this city. Ned picked up a shovel, with the intention of diggin the hole, but Darza stopped him. "No. I need you to find his replacement. Take some coins. Find me a criminal. Someone who won't be missed. Someone cheap. You. Dig the hole."
He held the shovel out to Vyet, who had a shocked look on his face. "But...I'm a man of learning, not...not some kind of...l-laborer!"
Darza tilted his helmeted head. The kind of tilt that implied horrid consequences if conditions are not met. Vyet reluctantly grabbed the shovel and stabbed it into the dirt. Darza began to walk away, but stopped and turned. "Vyet the Necretard. You have done well this day. But not THAT well."
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PostSubject: 6-Man Easter Ogre Egg Hunt: Friggin' Everyone.   Tue 24 May 2011 - 0:05

Darza looked over his camp. He'd sent Ned and the new guy, Murderface, into town quite a while ago. The man had insisted on carrying a bass around with him. A dead fish will aid no man, in any way, unless he's in desperate need of food. Buford was up and about, but he was still babying his wounded arm. His weakness would have sickened Darza, if he was of the same constitution of this man. An old vagrant was not soldier material. Darza would have skewered the man, had he not had need of him. Vyet was raising zombies left and right, trying to emphasize his ability. The man wanted some kind of respect. It would take more than zombies and a single dead orc to win the respect of a chaos knight of Khorne...NO! A vampire now. Like a sword left on the battlefield, his will had changed hands. Either way, spendint eh last twenty years in Sylvania, Darza had seen quite a few zombies. So...seven of them was hardly even noticeable. And a single dead orc was a lucky fluke.

The two men wandered back into camp. They looked flush. Ned spoke up first. "My lord, there is talk of a beast within the city hiding treasures in the buildings! Its some kind of rabbit-themed ogre!"
Darza hated to feel greedy, but he had to consider this news. He looked out on the camp and saw Vyet ordering Buford to do something or another. One of the zombies shifted, made a cracking sound, and them fell in a heap on the ground. His mind made up, he needed to know one thing. "Where is it?"

The group looked out and saw several buildings. There was no ogre to be seen, but plenty of tracks, as though one had been in the area for quite some time. Ogres were a thing to be feared, but Darza knew how desperately he needed the money. His own coinpurse was fat, but he needed armor, and remembered one he'd heard people talking about. Some kind of dwarven thing. Grobil or something. Mighty armor, but it allows you to move. Masterful. He had the money for it, but his men were hungry to the point of complaining, and his zombies were falling apart. He looked out onto the field and had a feeling of deja vu. He wasn't alone. He would never be alone when there was loot to be had. He saw orcs emerge from the ruins across him. On of them had a boar-tusk helmet, covered in fresh gouges and scars. His visible skin looked like it'd been torn off and put back on. Truly something to frighten the living. He would have been envious, had it not been for his own horrible scars. More orcs appeared from the ruined street next to them. Darza was hoping these orcs didn't have vengeance on their minds. Then he saw a sight that would have caused his heart to skip a beat, had it held one. To his right, he heard chanting. Female voices. He'd heard this was their home ground, but he hadn't encountered the Sisters of Sigmar before. And he listened a bit. It was chanting about their victories. They sounded confident and numerous. To his right, humans were surveying his warband. They looked angry. Then he noticed the flagellants and the dogs. Witch Hunters. What horrid luck. Rocks and hard places were simply not accurate. Hammers and anvils, maybe. His heart rose a bit as he noticed the half-goat beastmen, with a minotaur in-tow emerge past the Witch hunters.

Pep talk time. He heard battle cries in every direction. He looked his men over. "Run."
Vyet ran to a nearby building and began searching. Buford searched another nearby building. Darza, Ned, and Murderface ran forward, to a ruined church of some kind. Behind him, he heard "Where do I send the troops?"
Troops? Seriously? Vyet took zombies too seriously. Darza pointed in a random direction. "There."
The seven zombies shambled off in the direction he'd pointed, and he looked to see what kind of cliff he'd accidentally thrown them off. Beastmen tearing into Witch Hunters. The minotaur seemed to be mashing them into the earth on his own. Darza figured he could flee to the orcs. At least he knew from experience that he could beat them. Hopefully his confidence was well-placed. A handful of goblins jumped the wall across from him, but he knew not to get embroiled in a fight, with the Sisters so near, and so powerful. He heard a high-pitched shriek nearby and figured that the sisters had caught some kind of sneak. He saw an orc with a staff doing some kind of gesture. Orcs doing magic? Really? Figures. The vampire charged up a staircase to search, and felt a blinding pain everywhere. The orc did it. He felt white-hot rage burning within him. But the mission needed to be done first. Ned gave him a look and charged the goblins, preparing to buy his lord time with his fancy new helmet and sword.

Darza saw double doors open on their hinges and decided to flee through them. He saw the last remnants of Witch Hunters fleeing for their lives back into the city. The beastmen roared in triumph and Darza felt a pang of pride in his old allies. NO! Darza the Bloodletter was dead. Darza the Vampire is who he is now. Nagash was his lord, not Khorne. There are better times to have such thoughts, he told himself. He turned to see that two goblins had followed him. A rage outlet...good.

Murderface was told to buy time for his lord. Lord? Who? The vampire guy? He thought for just a second about it. Banditry was all he knew in life. Do what you know, pa always said. He ran outside, attempting to tie someone up, and maybe...MAYBE...kill them. That thought was short lived when he ran outside and turned to see a bolt of light shooting out the orc's staff. Following the light, his world went black.

Ned was facing down three goblins on his own, with his new gear, and his lord right there. He turned to see Murderface's smoldering body and his lord well enough away that help was simply not going to come. He heard female voices and remembered how terrified his powerful lord was of them. These goblins were holding him in place, but the women were going to kill him. That was a role reversal for him. He was used to threatening to kill women, rather than the other way around. He felt his heart sink as he saw his lord sink his blade into the last goblin, turn, and run. Ned turned and run, felt a spear rip through his armor and embed itself in his butt. He dropped and played dead as the goblins ran toward the female voices.

Vyet and Buford searched frantically through the rubble for colored eggs. Buford yelled over. "I don't see anything!"
"Keep searching!"
The man grumbled. He was in servitude to a dead chaos knight and a man who was quite visibly mutating into some kind of snake-man. All for sleeping in a mausoleum. Damn it, no one in Sylvania rests. Ever. He picked up a wooden thing and tossed it behind him. Nothing in this damn room! Some nails, a blue rock, and some scraps. No eggs!

Darza looked out to see a glorious sight. Two orc groups smashing each other's heads in. He only had the vaguest sense of how they worked, but he liked it. They worked like morons. He could beat morons. He wondered if that said something about him as a commander. Better times for such thoughts! As he prepared to engage the foe, a minotaur, followed by all manner of goat-things charged across the terrain at the two warring orc tribes. Following his surge of pride, he remembered that he was on their menu...thus, they should be on his. As he mentally prepared himself to go to battle against his one-time friends he saw his zombies lumbering toward the crush. Orcs and goblins, a troll, goatmen, and a minotaur all drew arms against each other, with zombies smashing into the flank of the beastmen. WHAT LUCK! He'd never meant to do that, but combat never gives you a break, so take one if its offered. He charged the minotaur, which looked extremely bloodied. His zombies smashed into their leader, and Todd, the jailwagon driver, took a chunk out of the gor's throat, while diggin his hand into the beast's right eye. The other zombies descended on him. It was (Takes off glasses.) a "gor-y" mess.

Apparently the beast revealed itself multiple times on the field, eventually being tied up by the Sisters and slain. It didn't mean much to Vyet, as he was still unable to find any eggs. Buford eventually ran up, telling him multiple places to search, while being functionally useless.

Darza looked on at the battle. The Beastmen had fled the field, and the orcs were engaged with each other. The troll stood, attempting to move under a bridge, and carrying a large rock over his head, but...confusing enough to the vampire, the troll refused to lower the rock enough to get under the bridge. So there it stood, for a full minute. Darza looked over at his zombies. The few he had left were eating the beastman chieftain, and he had no idea where his men were. He'd struck blows at his former allies, and took a moment to take it all in. The musk of the wounded and dead, the sounds of the dying...all of it. The only thing missing was the rivulet of sweat moving down his back which always came with the end of battle. He'd left a glorious people, but fallen into well enough. He could have done far worse. "RETREAT!"

After the battle, his people picked through the corpses. He patched up the zombies with what lay around, and collected his own dying men. Only Ned and Muderface had been wounded, but both were fine. Tough men. Soldiers. They had discipline. He wouldn't kill them. He actually kind of liked them. He saw Buford eating some candy, sitting on a body. He put his hand on his helmet, covering his face in shame. He was no soldier. Darza called for Vyet. The man gave him a yell, telling him to come over. The zombies were carrying a few bodies. Vyet had a maniac's grin on his face, and spoke so quickly, the words were barely coherent. "I saw one of the buildings...it looked like someone barfed beef strogonoff everywhere! Someone died like crazy. However, I found some people I could access with my...talents. You know, the ones you say I don't have? I will SHOW you. Behold!"
Darza prepared to be unimpressed as Vyet gestured and spoke an incantation. One by one, the three arose. The beastman chieftain that had been slain by Todd, club and ax in-hand, an orc big 'un that Darza was unfamiliar with, and the orc shaman who had attacked him successfully. His head had been caved in with a hammer. Darza looked at the three and smiled. "You get me Leftovers, this Big Hoss here, and one who's been killed like a baby seal? Good. But you are still Vyet the Necretard."

Vyet's face went pale and his smile disappeared. "I am not an easy man to please, Vyet. But you're getting there."
Darza picked up a handful of dirt and opened the orc shaman's mouth. He stuffed the dirt into the orc's mouth and laughed aloud. He nearly doubled over in laughter. "I like this one. He struck me. I'm keeping him as my personal kicking-boy. You get the others."
With a laugh the vampire left the necromancer to do his work. Vyet looked up at the night sky. Why had he been given a master who was so hard to please? Someday he'll earn the man's respect...someday...
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PostSubject: Ambush: Reiklanders and Ogres   Tue 24 May 2011 - 12:32

The penal Company had ventured into a different part of the city. The previous one had been a little too hot. Maybe the North Gate would be better suited to their kind. All of the dregs, Vyet, and Darza himself had been sent into town for the fancy dwarven armor. Appaerently it was called Gromril. Whatever. All of the men had returned empty-handed. Apparently Vyet was unsettling outside of the city, his flesh being coated in green scales and tongue fully forked. The city did weird things to people. He felt maybe a bit different too. Stronger maybe. However, he'd heard from one of the dregs that there was a human in the marketplace. He'd found some kind of horde of stone. And since those stones could allow Darza to rejoin his people, he needed them. He called the order to move out and his men grabbed their bags.

The horde was in some kind of building that was little more than a few thick stone walls surrounding a small crater somewhere in the district. After an hour or so of navigation, his men had found it. To the left there was a bar adjacent to an inn, and to the right was a guardhouse adjacent to a gallows. Fitting. He heard the sounds of men scrambling in the distance and advanced toward it, eager to take the treasure from these foolish mortals. His banishment would be complete when he'd brought enough back. The zombies advanced slowly and as Darza charged the humans, they regained their wits and sprinted toward the guardhouse. The solid base construction, strongly-barred doors and windows, and open roof made it a good place to hole up. Some fool had left a ladder leading up to a second-story window too. He saw the men carrying contraptions similar to those of the human in his first fight. The smoking thing. Thinking back on the skaven, with the smoldering chest wounds, he figured it may be a good idea to close the gap. Vyet charged forward and, with a simple gesture managed to catch a straggling human in the literal grip of death, and the poor man was ripped into the earth, kicking and screaming. One of the humans drew his pistol and shot the necromancer, sending him down, but Darza saw life still in the man. He knew to get back up. There was more in the caster. He looked over and that's when it happened. Ogres.

Four of them, two of them massive, and two of them only the size of a large man, rounded the corner, catching one of the fleeing humans with a club, and sending him flying. Another human was pounded into the street with a loud crunch. He wouldn't likely be getting up. The ogres looked up to see the shambling group of undead and howled in glee. The four of them split into two groups, and the undead clashed with them. Somehow the humans managed to sneak away in the confusion, as corpse and corpulent fought with tooth and claw.

Darza was engaging some kind of butcher ogre, which wore an apron and had various cooking implements on his belt. One of the small ones joined in. Ned was at the vampire's back, as was Big Hoss and his personal toy, Baby Seal. Vyet got to his feet but remained out of the combat, seemingly avoiding doing anything, as the largest and meanest of the ogres, backed by a smaller one, tore the zombies asunder. Darza looked over in shock to see some kind of little thing stabbing at him. Like a goblin, if it had been raised in a small cave. He used the motivation of the smaller beast to throw more hits at the real threats. The fight was frustrating. He would strike one down, and the other would protect it, then as he struck the other down, the first would be back up. This fight wasn't going to end well. And as he was preparing to sall a retreat, he looked over and saw Vyet casting his new spell again. The little ogre reached a hand out to his compatriot, but it was for naught, as he too slipped beneath the cobblestones of Mordheim, driven by the hands of the dead. The necromancer continued forward, purpose in his eyes. Darza struck the butcher ogre in the face and sent it sprawling, then turned to its ally. He brought back his blade and saw skeletal hands grabbing the beast's ankles. It looked him in the eye and scowled before joining the others. Darza's longsword found its way into the butcher's chest and the beast went down. Maybe not permanently so, but it would remember this day. As he raised his blade to the annoying little thing with the daggers, the big one roared and stomped off. The little thing managed to disappear during the distraction.

Finally, a victory. It was rather tenuous at first, but Vyet had managed to secure it. Darza approached him. "Vyet, you made this, our first victory, possible. You are no longer a Necretard. You are my second in command. However, neither the humans nor the ogres had our number nor our skill, and we barely won that one. We are doing something wrong. I think we need to dump the zombies."
"You mean break the spell?"
"No. Its already cast. I think we need them to die. I'm going to throw them around more...hopefully they won't come back as readily. See if you can get in contact with any ghoul tribes in the area. We may be able to buy their criminals."
"Why criminals?"
"Don't argue with our theme!"
"Yes, my lord..."
"Did any of our number go under in the fighting?"
"Um, my lord...the beastman went down...and he's not getting back up."
"Ah...did he at least kill anything?"
"Um, no. He was hacked down and carried off by the ogres. Probably to be eaten."
"At least our men got to eat his good bits, right?"
Vyet looked confused. Darza went on. "That was humor. Laugh or I'll cut out your tongue."
Confusion had been replaced by terror. "HAHAHAHA."
"Good."
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PostSubject: Wizard's Tower: Ogres, Carnival of Chaos   Tue 24 May 2011 - 15:08

(I hope somebody's enjoying these, because I have a few more to do until I'm caught up. And I'm having a good time with them. Also, I got two more after this until I'm caught up.)

Darza swept a pile of papers off the desk. This was the location. One of his dregs had come back with some kind of hooded man, clapped in manacles. Apparently he was about to be burned at the stake for witchcraft. He said his name was Bertol and that eh had some magical arsenal. For a slight fee, he could be convinced to join. Additionally, Vyet had brought back a pair of ghouls. The ghouls were very much opposites. One was hunched and emaciated, with cracked lips and a hunger in his eyes. The other was massive and bloated and stank of rotting meat. His skin looked filthy and stretched to the point of bursting, if he were even lightly stabbed. Vyet looked to his captain. "I've purchased these two. The little one murdered his fellow ghoul in rage, and the other cannibalized a fellow ghoul...alive. Even amongst ghouls, such things are frowned upon. They had been renamed and locked in the catacombs."
"Renamed?"
"In accordance with local ghoul tradition, when a ghouls sins against his fellows, his name is void and he is named for his sin, that everyone knows what he did. This is Wrath and this is Gluttony. Who's that?"
The necromancer pointed to the warlock. Darza answered, "More firepower. You're good, and you're my second, but your magic is unreliable. His is...some support."
"My lord, I can keep up with this. I don't need another around, trying to pick up my slack. Tell him off."
"No. And above that, you are not to give me orders, if you favor your hands."
The necromancer gave a curt nod and turned away. Darza motioned for Bertol to come forward. "Tell me, warlock...where did you learn such magic?"

A mere half hour later, the group had reached a damaged bar. Bertol leaned in. "The second story has been re-purposed to teach the secrets of the arcane. There is quite a lot in there. Maybe some of those stones you seek."
The motley group wandered into the building and began sifting through the wreckage. Vyet found a piece of mandrake root, and handed it to Buford, for safe keeping. As the crew got around to searching the upper floor, they ooked out the window and saw, to their horror, ogres advancing on their position from one direction, and a collection of strange being moving in from the other direction. Their leader was some kind of tentacle-faced lizard, though the real concern was over the pair of large apes, one carrying an old Middenheimer great blade, the other carrying a ball and chain that had been affixed to a metal rod. Nothing was ever easy in this damned city. Darza gave the orders. Ned, himself, and the casters were to hold the upstairs, while the zombies, ghouls, Murderface, and Buford were to guard the first floor.

The ogres made the distance easily and crashed into the line of corpses and soon-to-be corpses. The zombies provided an adequate flesh-wall, and the ghouls and dregs counter-charged. The ferocity of it all startled Darza and he prepared to make his way down. Vyet looked out the window and chose his target. The ogres seemed to have replaced the butcher-one with another club-wielding ogre. He looked over to a little one and figured that such an easy target needed to be taken care of first. The same actions, the same hands, the same dark fate. The zombies somehow managed to mob one of the ogres to the ground, and Wrath the ghoul lept onto the lead ogre, gouging his cheek, before the brute threw him down and mashed him into the cobbles with his massive sword. The ogres were taking significant damage, but were far from retreating. The other caster threw a fireball out the window, striking an ogre, much to Vyet's chagrin. He looked over, to see what the chaos-worshippers were doing, and realized that they were doing nothing. They stood in a doorway, as though they were using the ogres as shock troops. Cowardice must be repaid in turn. With a quick hand motion and a primal yelp, one of the ape beasts disappeared into the underbelly of Mordheim. Darza looked out to see the ogres regaining their feet and the spawn of Nurgle making their move on his position. "FLEEEE!"

One painful hour later, the Penal Company had regrouped at their old campsite. It had taken quite a bit of ducking, running, and hiding to escape the eyes of the enemy. Even still, Wrath was nowhere to be seen. Vyet looked up at Darza. "He's been taken by the ogres, to be eaten. Both the enemies managed to close on our position. They made an alliance. I suggest we start thinking more politically."
He hung his head low in shame. They were doing so well. But to be beaten by politics again was a bitter pill. This was how he got into this situation in the first place. And now to be undone by it. He hacked his sword deep into a tree in anger. "You three, head into town. I want new armor. Find me the Growreel armor!"
The three dregs scrambled to get out of the way of their captain. Though his body was cold, his wrath burned brightly. You!"
He pointed to Vyet. "Replace the ghoul. Go buy another one. One that will last longer. You!"
He pointed to the warlock. "Here's your money. Now tell me where the next bit of treasure is..."
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PostSubject: Re: The Odyssey of the Penal Company.   Tue 24 May 2011 - 20:25

Thanks for the excellent narrative reports.
Ghouls are the way to go since you won't get that 6th hero without them.

Looking forward to more adventures.
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PostSubject: Monster Hunter: Ogres, Carnival of Chaos.   Tue 24 May 2011 - 23:23

Vyet walked into the new camp. Murderface was stoking the fire, and The other dregs were sitting off to the side, stitching the zombies back together. They had no lack of parts. When they looked up to acknowledge their superior, their jaws dropped. The new ghoul was somehow female. Gaunt, cracked and yellowed teeth, scarred forearms from years of digging through rubble and cracking bone...yet it was the first female they'd seen that had no desire to kill them since they allied with the female vampire, way back when. But even then, they never got a proper look at her. The two men gave each other a grin.

Darza approached the new arrival. "Name?"
Vyet spoke for her. "Lust."
The two dregs had a look of ecstasy on their faces. Darza sensed their emotional change and looked over to the two of them. "Any man who touches this ghoul, has to touch the other one the same way."
Gluttony smiled through his massive neckless head, his scraggly hair flowing over his flabby shoulders. Lust was ushered over by the bulbous mass of pseudo-man, and sat down. She seemed oddly silent. Even Gluttony occasionally made eye contact with the others. Bertol strode forward, and stood next to Vyet, who scowled. "Patron, I have news. An upstart warband was recently annihilated. Goblins or something. But the interesting part is they were eradicated when they attacked a beast, living in a ruin. Their surviving man told some people it was a buncha-head before being escorted out of the city. That can only mean that its some kind of hydra."
He thought about it. A hydra kill could raise his renown with locals, which would in-turn probably help him find that Gerbil armor. Even still, it wasn't to be played with. "So?"
"Well, such beasts horde treasure. If we could obtain this treasure, we could probably buy you the Gromril armor you so desire. And maybe buy the location of some more stones."
"Move out, all of you."

In short order, they had approached the house. Finding the location was easy enough, as eventually, the beast could be tracked by smell alone. It seemed cautious enough, staring at them from its windows on the upper floor. It hissed and roared a couple of times before the undead finally began to position for assault. As they did so, they heard a racket from the other side of the building. Those clowns were back. The ones with the monkeys and he little demons. Darza groaned. They couldn't have anything. Ever. He also heard the telltale battle cry of the ogres. He turned to give his men a pep talk. Try. TRY. he told himself. Morale is important. Throwing zombies at problems doesn't make them go away. "The ogres will outrun us. Don't play nice, boys and girl. Five heads in the front, us in the back. This is going to be great fun."

Immediately the ogres charged in through a hole in the side of the building, and engaged the creature. The Carnies took their sweet time, except for one of their apes, which ran ahead of the others. Darza's people capable of running did so, while the zombies took up the rear. The ogres filled the building and were rapidly beating the beast to death with their massive two-handed weapons. Vyet cast his doom spell through the windows, and one of the smaller ogres disappeared through the warped floorboards. The ghouls clashed first, charging into one of the two ogres who was left outside. Darza looked for an opening for a second or more. There must have been a place for one as dangerous as him to cause so much damage. He saw an opening on one of the ogres and charged in, sinking his sword deeply into the beast's thigh. Bertol cast a fireball that knocked the beast to the ground, scorching his beard.

Inside the building, the beast was on its last legs. The ape creature climbed a ladder into the second-story window, and saw it below him. The object of his hatred was here. He jumped and landed on its back, before its last head went flying, courtesy of a two-handed sword. Its target gone, it thrashed at the ogres. Vyet's hands sent another ogre to the abyss, and he noticed the Carnies coming around the corner. He ordered the zombies to engage them, and the dead clashed the should-be dead. Darza put the ogre down and looked inside to see the Carnival's gaping opening to the back of the ogres. He waited for the sounds of combat and heard none. In fact, they seemed to be allied against him. Politics, AGAIN. The Carnival Master must pay for his incessant weakness. Of the group, only one ape seemed to have any balls. Just as he completed the thought, a white apae, wielding a Middenheim blade burst through the door at him. He was struck and fell back, splayed out on the ground. Murderface ran up to help, but was shot by a goblin-kin before he was able to help. Darza saw the blade go in and everything went black.

He opened his eyes and checked himself. Vyet was good. Better than he'd been given credit. There was no pain at all. He tallied the troops. Only some dead zombies. And the two orc zombies were still fine. He motioned for Baby Seal, his beloved kicking-boy to follow him. The mindless orc did so diligently. "Vyet, get me another ghoul. I like these two. I need more."
The necromancer stood there, unmoving. Darza was confused, but he continued surveying. His dregs seemed fairly disheartened. Two losses in a row. Victory would be his again soon. He commanded it to be so. However, he also swore to himself that both the ogres and the Carnival would pay. Both seemed to be playing politically, and this was a great sin in the vampire's eyes. He looked back at Vyet, angry. "Did I not give an order?!"
"With all due respect, my lord, we went to town without you and found you your armor. We bought it with your purse. I hope this is ok. However..."
His voice trailed off. Darza inspected it. Looked like a tight squeeze, but what did that matter? It wasn't like he needed to breathe. He took off his helmet and noticed everyone staring at him. Hm. He must be impressive. He took off his gauntlet and noticed it. He had been completely defleshed. There was nothing there but bone. He felt for his face and felt only smooth bone. Sharp incisors, but nothing else. His heart would have skipped a beat, if it held a beat...and were actually in his chest. He removed more armor and saw nothing but bone. Thick, robust bone. Bone that had been broken and healed many times, in many places, but still only bone. He was a skeleton. A sentient, power skeleton, but nothing more. This city had a way with people. It had turned Vyet into some kind of snake-man, he himself had been stripped of flesh, and two of his dregs were attracted to a broken and gnarly ghoul. This city. It broke men. And Darza was certain the damage was only just being felt...
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PostSubject: Ambush: Reiklanders and Carnival of Chaos   Wed 25 May 2011 - 0:49

(With this one, I am totally caught up. But by this point, I'm sure its a tl;dr situation, amirite? Wink Also, we played this one by the books. It was...well, you'll see.)

Darza couldn't believe his luck. So much wyrdstone! This may even have been enough to get him and his team sent back to Sylvania. He counted eleven pieces total. Plus the previous pieces he'd found, he'd amassed quite the collection. He turned them in to a man in town who worked for the vampires, sending the stones back to them. He had his ghouls acting as look-outs, while his team grabbed as much as they could, awaiting the inevitable attack. The new ghoul, Envy, sounded a quiet alarm. His voice was soft, his head hairless, and his skin seemed stretched thin. He had reason to envy the other two ghouls, as sad as it was to say. Reiklanders on one side, with their multitude of guns. Darza was sick of these contraptions. They made his armor nigh useless. He also heard the unfortunately familiar strange racket that he associated with the Carnival of Chaos. Good. At least he could try and extract some blood from the beasts. And their masters, the ogres, weren't present. Good...

He called for formations. Casters and dregs to the upstairs. He would guard the single staircase. Todd the zombie was to aid the casters. Ghouls and zombies guarded the bottom. No one was to ascend the staircase. He looked back to the casters. "Is there any way to get out of here?"
Bertol looked back at him. "I have a single scroll of a ritual, but it has an elaborate casting time."
"How long?!"
"Long."
"Do it."
The casters got to work on it as the two teams advanced. Bertol yelled aloud when a bullet burst in through a window. Vyet spoke up. "Todd! Push the ladder away from that window, then stand in the window."
The obedient zombie gave the ladder a hit and then stood in the window. Bullets strcuk around him, and one hit him in the chest, sneding him on his back. He got back to his feet and continued standing in the window. The Carnival outside was caught in a small stream. Good...more time. The Reiklanders used a basic fire and advance tactic. Darza knew it would take them quite some time to advance to the building. Even so, he had his people positioned by the windows, to ambush them as they approached.

The assault came quickly. Demons poured in through the windows, and walked into the door. Big Hoss, the orc zombie, followed Envy and another zombie, in a surgical strike. They were on a hunter-killer mission, to assassinate the Carnival Master. The zombies, led by Gluttony, led the counter-offensive against the demonic host. Lust, accompanied by Maggot and Tedward, the poor zombie they'd picked up on the street as a babbling wreck, hid by a hole in the wall, to engage the living host. The casters provided fire support, and Vyet managed to entomb one of the larger demons that had introduced itself with a maggot-filled vomit on a zombie. Needless to say, it was ineffective. One of the maggot-vomit demons engaged Gluttony, and breached his skin, causing a bloody torrent of yellow fat to erupt, as the ghoul went down. Darza noticed the feverish brown ape in the back, switching between drool and foaming at the mouth. As the combat got more intense, Darza heard a gunshot and saw Envy go down.

The Carnival Master masterfully wielded his sword against both zombies, though Big Hoss seemed to remember some aspect of defense, and his sword sparked off of the carnie's sword multiple times. A couple of nurglings joined in the combat and tore his fellow zombie to shreds. Big Hoss threw a blow to the carnie's leg and as he parried it, he found the orc's dagger up its hilt in fetid gut. The orc lifted the Master off the ground, and an audible rip was heard before the body was let drop. The two nurglings retaliated violently, and one of the pair was beaten into the dust, never to rise. As Big Hoss prepared to strike the other down, it jumped on him and rent his face and neck, before he fell. It made a finishing blow and the orc was finally left to rot in peace.

Meanwhile, the Reiklanders were advancing, shooting the demons as they saw them, when suddenly they were attacked by Lust and her pair of ghouls. She herself descended on the only sword-wielding one of the bunch, and tore into him, leaving him in his own filth before she was shot in the chest. The two zombies were clubbed with extreme prejudice, and as she opened her eyes to get back up, she saw the barrel of a pistol staring her down. A single bullet ended her.

Darza looked at his men, being cut down by plague-bearer and human, and his blood began to boil. Todd was sent down the staircase before him to tie up those who were waiting at the bottom. Darza felt it was time to do something incredibly stupid. "Buford, defend the casters."
With caster support, Darza sprinted down the staircase, lept through the broken window, and clashed with the brown ape. It stopped drooling and saw battle. Darza caused a large gash across its abdomen and the beast retaliated with all its fury. Inside though, Buford waited for the white ape with the sword to engage him. He stood on the staircase, with Bertol standing behind him. He was a flesh-shield, and Bertol was merely the next flesh shield. He could hear the horrified breathing of the warlock behind him and knew the fate that awaited him. The beast charged up the stairs and smashed him in the chest with the pommel. He felt a massive crack and fell to the ground. Bertol knew he was next.

The ball-on-a-stick threw the vampire around, though the armor seemed to do its job. He sprawled on the ground and had the faintest idea that his valor may have been the end of him. As he got to his feet, he awaited the beast's continued assault, but the beast threw its four swings wildly, hitting only once, though this was deflected by the vampire's shield. With all of his fury, he threw his blade at the beast, and he managed to replace its rage with unending pain. This victory was short-lived, however, as a nurgling and some kind of corpulent beast with a sword engaged him. Blood fury continuing, he managed to put both beast down, and as he prepared to slay the pair, another nurgling attacked. The tiny demon was chopped in half with ease. He raised his blade to end the fat thing and was suddenly back in camp. Himself, Vyet, Ned, Murderface, and Bertol. The spell saved them, but only just.

The team went back to the house and picked through the ruins. Two zombies, one ghoul, Buford, and Baby Seal were the only other survivors. It was a victory. But Pyhrric victories are unacceptable. Still, he would claim it. And after all, he only really lost two ghouls and most of his zombies, which he didn't like much anyway. Big Hoss was a bitter pill though. After digging a mass grave, Darza looked over and saw Buford staggering around, clutching his chest. He was finally sick of this man. "What's wrong with you now?"
"The monkey hit me really hard. I can't breathe."
"I think...you are going to achieve redemption now. I'll send you home on the next wagon."
The relief on his face was palpable. "Oh thank the gods!"
The man never felt the sword as it pierced his chest. Darza made sure no one was looking as he dumped the body in the grave with the others. As soon as he got back to camp, his men had a celebratory drink, though they all seemed preoccupied. The wyrdstone would bring in some money, but not nearly enough to recoup their losses.
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PostSubject: Re: The Odyssey of the Penal Company.   Fri 27 May 2011 - 11:31

This is GREAT, WELL THOUGHT OUT narration...it turns a game into an Epic Tale. WELL DONE! thumbsup

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Gallery of Little Horrors:  http://deafnala.tabletopgeeks.com/

Maudeheim & Environs, Part I:
http://boringmordheimforum.forumieren.com/t4674-maudeheim-environs-part-i-updated-10-29-13

Maudeheim & Environs, Part II:
http://boringmordheimforum.forumieren.com/t7442-maudeheim-environs-part-ii-updated-05-17-14
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PostSubject: 3-Man Monster Hunt: Ogres, Beastmen.   Sat 4 Jun 2011 - 22:03

"What?!"
"I said, they're out of criminals. I've checked all surrounding villages, and we've got nothing."
"No. There's always someone in the stocks. Or we could raid a jail wagon. Something."
"...No."
"What?"
Darza's face would have gotten red, had he still had flesh, much less flesh capable of flaring red. "Then where are we going to find a replacement for that useless pile of man? Vyet's scaly face broke into a sly grin. "My lord, I may have an idea. Permission to act upon it."
"Granted, provided you're willing to accept responsibility for failure."
Vyet seemed uncertain. "Acceptable terms, my lord."
With that, the caster walked by, shooting an evil glance to the next in line: Bertol.
Darza continued staring where Vyet's face was. "Approach."
Bertol stood off to the side, although he was somehow invisible, though he was still well within the vampire's gaze. "Speak."
"My, uh...lord. I have something I'd...like to have a word with you...about."
"I said speak."
"In the last fight, my lord...I noticed that you easily landed your hits, and you had several of them for each of those thrown at you, but...you seemed to have difficulty, uh...keeping the, uh, beast...down. Permission to inspire a change of direction?"
Darza was very confused. It was almost as if this...hooded thing was giving him advice. Such things were punishable by death. However, he wanted to hear the insult fully. "Proceed."
"My lord, I see considerable strength in your sinew...bones. And though you could cleave a regiment apart with scarcely a thought, the demons are creatures not of our world, and the ogres are quite...sturdy. Mayhaps with both arms, you could punish such foul creatures more... expediently. The zombies simply can't hold up, pitiful as they are. Alas, there are only three left...and one of them is your personal plaything."
The vampire considered this information. Larger opponents required a larger weapon to put them down. It made sense. And the zombies are truly pitiful. He did a rather rare thing. "What would you recommend."
Bertol gasped audibly. He took a few seconds. As though feeling for a trap. Finding none, he responded. "Maybe it would be beneficial to start with something...more manageable. A halberd?"
Darza's thoughts went back to the halberd he wielded in life. Nine feet tall, as wide as a man. He felt a tinge of what he assumed was nostalgia in his old bones. He strapped his shield to his back and placed his sword in the group's small armory. He motioned to Vyet, who was packing his day-pack. "Bring me back a halberd. A good one."
The necromancer shot a glance off to the warlock. His rage seemed barely contained. With a huff, the necromancer strolled off. Darza chuckled to himself. Mortals. So emotional. Truly he couldn't remember being so torn by petty feelings. He looked up at the Penal Company. Two zombies, his own personal zombie, two dregs, one ghoul, and Bertol. The warlock. Not much use in a fight, but quickly becoming useful as a backup magic user. Vyet was still his rgith-hand, but Darza needed someone less...tempestuous. His last battle had been harsh, but he'd had his eyes and ears around. Apparently more beastmen had entered the city. And the ogres and carnival had gotten into quite a scrap. The carnival had been brutalized. Good.

A few hours later, Vyet was back. He had a smile on his face, and two prisoners in tow. One was clearly human, and the other was a ghoul. Without requesting permission, Vyet spoke. A bold move. "My lord, I have more recruits. One is a ghoul mutineer. The other is a human. A lunatic. Thinks the shadow in the moon killed his family, or something."
Darza was immediately concerned. A mutineer? Bad decision. But beggars couldn't be choosers. "The moon, huh?"
The man stepped forward and did an imperial salute. Military man, eh? Not bad. "What happened?"
"Name's Renfield, my lord! I was fleeing the city with my family when I heard a screech, the moon went black, and my family was dead."
"Where?"
The man seemed hesitant. "By the...by the pleasure district..."
"Maybe we can kill the shadow of the moon...men, arm up. Reconnaissance work. We'll camp elsewhere."
The men grabbed their gear and kicked out the campfire. "Vyet. My halberd."
Vyet looked frightened and removed the cloth wrapping from what appeared to be an old imperial halberd. Rusted. Unacceptable. "Vyet, I asked for a good one."
"This was all they had."
"I hope they didn't sell necromancers. I am considering trading mine in..."

A short hour later, they had found the shadow of the moon. A young wyvern roosted on top of an old guardhouse. It seemed concerned in several directions. Figured. But it looked formidable, so the help may be nice. Darza organized his men roughly into groups and they charged. Ghouls in the front, him slightly behind them, dregs on the left flanks, zombies on the right, and casters behind himself. The ogres charged forward from the right flank, and their largest and most formidable one took the lead. He heard beastmen horns from the far left and his ghouls clashed violently with the massive ogre. Envy, his veteran ghoul, was backhanded into a rock wall, while Pride, his new ghoul, was stamped into a filthy reddish paste. Darza hefted his new halberd and prepared to impact. Vyet, eager to impress the vampire, performed a perfect rendition of his doom spell, and the ogre was ripped through the cobbles. One of the goblin-kin took aim at the caster and fired, and the arrow dug deeply into his gut. Gritting his teeth, Vyet continued on. Darza's rage well up as two more ogres charged. One with a massive ax, and the other, smaller, ogre, hefting a smaller ax. The vampire charged violently with the two, aided by Renfield, who slashed the larger one, allowing Darza to easily knock him down with the butt of the weapon. Damn. It needed a spike there. Imperials had no idea how to go to war. Darza threw a stab at the smaller one and a backhand left a massive gash in his face. He went down gurgling on his own blood. As suddenly as they appeared, the ogres scattered.

Darza looked up to see the wyvern, still clearly panicking, looking down at him. He heard barking and howling on the far side of the guard house, and he, Renfield, and Ned charged inside the tiny building. They moved up the ladder and stopped on the gunner platform. Up six feet of ladder waited their nemesis. He looked at the two men. Inspiration time. He looked at Renfield. "It killed your family. Horribly. Its poison ran like molten steel in their veins, prolonging their misery for agonizing minutes. And it'll do the same to both of you."
With that, he bolted up the ladder, followed by the two white-faced men.

The beast was already under attack. Beastmen. The cavalry had arrived. Their minotaur was hacking and slashing at the wyvern, and a pair of chaos hounds snapped at the beast's heels. A pair of ungors stabbed futilely with their spears. Darza liked this sight. His men, ripping the beast apart. He laid into the beast, his weapon moving like an extension of the arm, and as his halberd struck deeply, the beast's black blood flowed freely from its throat. He looked up to see some rather confused beastmen looking at him. A vampire, clad in gromril, capped in the helmet of a chaos warrior. He looked at them and spoke to the beastmen the same words he'd so eloquently spoken to many of their kind in his lifetime. "Move along, scum. I'll only talk to your master."
A minute or so later, the chieftain had climbed the ladder. He looked proudly over to Darza. "Vampire?"
"Not my choice, goat-scum. However, my banner has switched. In respect for your people's part of my past, I will share."
"We claim the items. You can have the gold."
"We'll see."

Later, as the group recovered in a nearby abandoned tavern, Darza paced. The goat-kin claimed a suit of light armor and a shield. He'd gotten 18 crowns. And a few pieces of wyrdstone. But still paltry pickings. A win was still a win. He heard a commotion outside and saw that Vyet had lashed his two zombies to something...made of meat. On closer examination, it was the smaller ogre...the one Darza had sent down, gurgling blood. And he was mutilated. Vyet's serpentine face looked back. He held a childlike wonderment in his red eyes. "My lord! I have found this ogre in the bottom of a well nearby. Lots of blood. And the tool marks are too specific. They ate their own comrade!"
"We did that with the beastman, remember?"
"Yes! And like that one, I can piece this one together. It'll take some effort. And quite a lot of stitching and patching. Some reinforcement too, but I can make him work! We can have this lumbering brute working for us! He's all ours. It nearly slipped my mind, but might I have permission to put the beast back together again?"
Darza would have smiled, had he had lips. "Yes."
Any insult to an enemy was a good insult, in his book. And a half-ton, pre-butchered abomination was a hell of an insult.


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PostSubject: Re: The Odyssey of the Penal Company.   Fri 10 Jun 2011 - 16:50

I really enjoyed reading these so far - keep em coming! :3
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PostSubject: 3-Man Hidden Treasure: Possessed, Ogres   Thu 16 Jun 2011 - 2:46

Darza fumed. He'd won, but only that. There was no actual trophy. Nothing given. And above that, he felt as though his grasp on reality was slipping. He needed to do something dramatic to ensure that he knew who and what he was. He felt as though he joined the beastmen for a minute there. He looked down at the floor of the leaking tavern. Rain splattered through the hole in the roof, getting his cracked leather boots wet. Pfft. The boots were worn through, and he was fairly certain that if they fell off of him right now, it would be nothing for it. He recapped on his reasons to be upset. He was losing his mind, Vyet was becoming a jealous child, and his newest dreg, Renfield, was rapidly becoming his favorite. And it wasn't despite lack of trying on the other two's part. They simply weren't doing the damage they were required to. And then...this. A desecration. He looked over to see the two newest ghouls. Neither was a criminal. Boomer and Hunter, he'd called them. The one looked...shifty. And the other was fat on river-bloated corpses. He brought his gauntlet to his head again, rapping his helmet, trying to get his mind moving again. He was losing it. This city was a killer.

He needed a change. He needed to break free of the restrictive chains he'd put on himself. He was essentially free. A prisoner, but barely. He could slip off and it'd take years to be found. He lacked flesh on his bones, and without his armor, there was no way of telling it was him. Even still, he felt as though he needed to prove himself. He was the king of Mordheim. City of the damned. And he was the damned king. His men were his glorious army. Their shackles were their jewelry. He looked around. He needed something else for his weapon. The halberd did its job, but he finally felt as though he had enough strength flowing through his raw bones for something...more. More kingly. He looked across the street. A church of Sigmar. He gave the command to remain here and exited the soggy building into the rain.

Vyet looked over, spitefully. He was the second in command. He'd worked for it. He'd wanted it. He'd finally gotten it, and the upstart warlock, Bertol, had stolen it from him. Bertol even had the ability to offer suggestions to his lord. Without losing a limb! The bastard. And to add insult to injury, he'd been being paid after each fight. But Vyet would have the last laugh. Bertol was a temporary addition to the warband, and he was soon to leave. Vyet looked behind the bar, looking for some alcohol to wash his hands off. His new...creation...worked. But it was choppy. The ogre runt was composed mostly of ogre parts, but patched with bits of metal, leather, other zombie bits, and some random shingles. Shingles. They worked. Vyet looked down and noticed the tavern's cash box. He opened the box, expecting money. Only a note. Some sappy love letter, though it was rather entertaining. Some day, he'd have to try and summon one of the lovers' spirits and bind it to something. Prevent them both from achieving eternal love. That's what you get for leaving your love letters around for anyone to see. At the bottom, he noticed something interesting. "Pieter, I've stashed all of Hans' possessions, that we may leave upon your arrival. He should think twice about joining the Imperial army." It had a crude map to a place in town. Maybe? Vyet's eyes narrowed. Yes. Its a gamble, but it could work in his political favor.

The door creaked on its single hinge. The place had already been looted pretty efficiently, but he was hoping for something. Maybe? Yes. At the foot of the statue of Sigmar, with his damaged face and cracked arms, lay a parcel. About six feet long, wrapped in a ripped tent. Three more lie on a stack nearby. Darza opened the tent, releasing a noxious cloud his nose could nearly detect. He reached inside. Dead flesh. Gray. Nearly black. He tore the tent apart, robbing what appeared to be a dead witch hunter. There was a note. "Here lies Fritz, who died while forcing the Carnival of Chaos out of Mordheim, and into hell." Darza reached in and withdrew a long maul, which was caked in human refuse. He felt his spirit lift as he searched the weapon. A skull decorated it. This was a weapon fit for annihilation. He practiced on the statue for a minute or so before finally determining that this weapon had garnered his favor. With a few final smashes (insults to the dead Witch Hunters) he set off back for the tavern.

The three dregs and Bertol sat around what little fire there was, as Darza entered again. Wet wood and a risk of starting the whole building ablaze meant that their fire was incredibly regulated. By Vyet. Ned looked over at the necromancer. "Blah blah blah, I can kill an ogre with a single hand gesture." With an obscene hand gesture, the other two dregs and the warlock laughed especially hard. Renfield kept laughing afterward, much to everyone's disdain. Darza nodded to Vyet, who appeared excited. He approached the group. Ned sighed. Oh great. Trudging for a handful of coin through the rain now. What could be worse? At least the tavern had a fire in it now. Damn vampires, he thought. What he wouldn't give for a clove of garlic. The vampire spoke. "Men, stand. We have a new lead. Gather our things. Strap them to the zombies. Ned, wait."
Ned was certain that vampires couldn't read minds, right? Darza continued. "Put down your weapons. You get my halberd. You can hit, but you have problems keeping people down. This will help. Now you're incapable of failure. Find a way to fail anyway and I will destroy you, brutally. You understand."
He gulped and nodded slowly. Darza rarely asked questions. No was simply not an option if one intended to avoid zombification.

The group assembled in a residential district. One of these houses had to be the lover's house. They had to search though. As they began to make plans for searching, they heard a chatter far to the left. They didn't recognize any of the sounds. Hm. New blood. Good. And to the right they heard the familiar roar of the ogres. They must have tracked them, seeking revenge for the desecration of their comrade. Good. Darza finally had an ogre-sized bludgeon with which to put them down. He chuckled. "Plan. Dregs, stick with the ghouls. Vyet, stick with the ghouls. Bertol, take the zombies around the left. See who the new people are. I'm going to play."

Immediately, everyone scattered and began to search. The ogres did the same, until the largest ogre pulled out a rifle and fired. Ned dropped to the ground, but staggered slowly up, taking a slight breather as he did. Murderface charged the ogre, attempting to buy his brother time to get to his feet, but as soon as he approached the ogre, the ogre turned and fled. Confusing. Darza heard the familiar yell of success from the new band, and rounded the corner of the building. Some kind of...new chaos mage stood there, package in-hand. Darza bashed him with the new club and grabbed the package, turning around to see six ogres bearing down on him. "On me!" he cried to his men, who attempted to intercept the ogres.

The ogres broke off, intercepting the interceptors, except for the largest one. The alpha ogre, or whatever he was. Darza was rather optimistic, though he knew this would be a challenge. He had a two-handed axe, some kind of gut-armor, and armor on top of that. Finally, he would be able to test just how deadly he was. He turned to the two humans who approached from behind him. "You can have the treasure if I can have this brute!"
The confused men looked at him. Chaos cultists. Darza knew his old allies. But he couldn't just let them win. "All of it?"
He looked at the package. It seemed minuscule. "We'll see. Move!"
The two men picked up the chest and carried it to the alley they presumably came from. The vampire roared in defiance of the brute that roared in bloodlust back.

Vyet looked on in terror as something happened that had never happened to him before. The ogres stopped stampeding and he found himself at the head of the melee. His heart seemed clenched by the hand of fear as the beast bore down on him. He clutched the mace he'd been given the first day, as though it were attached to a rope that would get him out of this nightmare. The beast swung its massive sword three times, and three times the sword struck him, his flesh being cut, but nothing vital being struck. He lashed out as he would imagine a mouse would at a cat that's cornered it. His blow went wild, and the ogre lashed out again, tearing his robes and drawing blood with each blow, but failing to slay the terrified spellcaster. Meanwhile, behind the ogre, a smaller ogre was engaging Renfield. The lunatic swung, missed, but backslashed the brute, who parried the blow, then delivered his own return. The man felt the sword puncture his chest. He looked into the eyes of the beast and coughed blood. "Touche."

The rain pounded brutally as the unstoppable force of ogre power struck the immovable will of the vampire as the two leaders clashed. (Seriously, they were deemed the two most dangerous characters in the entire campaign group. We always wanted them to fight.) The vampire flexed his nonexistent muscle and swung his maul first. The ogre proved adept though, and only half of his hits struck accurately. The ogre, tough as he was, couldn't withstand a solid chunk of rusted steel on a shaft, and took his beating with nary a grunt. The brute struck back with his own massive ax, chewing through armor and breaking bone that just now felt too-brittle. Darza threw the best he had at the massive brute, and three of his strikes landed true to the brute, one to his gut plate, denting the armor in, one more to the same spot, spilling blood through hewn steel, and a final shot to the head of the doubled-over beast, dropping him with a sickening crack.

Darza looked back and noticed the ogres fleeing as his ghouls tore one of the beasts down. He looked back at the chaos cultists. At this point, a pair of mutants had gathered. Both looked rather intimidating. One of them bore a scorpion tail and spines, and the other had four arms, each ending in sharp claws. The mutant looked down at the parcel and opened it. Six gold and a sword. He looked back up at Darza. Men had killed for much less in the city of Mordheim. "We had a deal."
Darza needed to show these new enemies that he meant business. Murderface came up behind him, with a dagger to the throat of their leader. "And we have your leader. Hand over the gold and you get your leader."
The cultists readily did so, and Darza began issuing orders. The magister was returned for a pittance. All of the ghouls lived. It was a miracle. His dregs moved rapidly, while the zombies made sure the cultists fled as they were supposed to. Darza looked down at his defeated foe. He gave it a kick. The ogre groaned and he brought his maul down on its head again. He smelled the beast's life as it fled its body. He turned to see Bertol. "Get Vyet. I have a new toy, and I need him to make it."

Bertol rushed to do as his patron demanded. The necromancer sat on the ground, staring off into space. His robes were torn and his body was bloodied. Somehow he'd survived going toe-to-toe with an ogre bull for two full rounds. Bertol was rather surprised. He reached down and grabbed the necromancer's shoulder. Vyet gasped and swung his mace, connecting with the warlock's head. The man went down and sprawled out. Vyet thought about throwing back his hood to see the man he hated so much. He thought about slitting his throat. But above all, he'd thought of how brutal his death was going to be when Darza found out. He called the ghouls over. "All of you. I am your superior. Um...get rid of him. The river. Dump him in and make sure he sinks. Now, you ugly humps!"
The three ghouls carried the warlock off toward the murky stream that flowed through the area. As soon as the ghouls disappeared, Vyet looked over to see his lord staring off in the distance. Obviously savoring yet another victory. Good, he won't be paying attention. With that done, the necromancer went back to his near-catatonic state.

Darza watched the lightning flash in the distance. He was the king of this city. There were no rivals anymore. The carnival of chaos was driven out of the city, replaced by the cult of the possessed. And the ogres were in shambles and leaderless. Who else was there to stop him? Humans? Beastmen? He savored his coronation via rainwater and turned around. The zombies were standing there, his attentive yet useless soldiers, staring off into space. His ghouls were nowhere to be seen. His dregs were hauling a comrade to him. Ned spoke up, sending words that ruined the vampire's victorious moment. "Renfield's dead, my liege. He been run through."
Renfield. The only dreg to put a worthwhile enemy into the earth. Pity. He almost respected that man, despite his lack of ability. "Dig a hole. Put him in it."
Every victory had its cost. And the price was acceptable, but not happily-paid.

Now-angered, he walked over to Vyet. The man was still sitting in the mud, drenched in rain, bleeding from multiple slashes in his flesh. Even under the robes, his skin seemed incredibly scaly. "Did I not tell Bertol to bring you to me?"
Answered by silence, the vampire went on. "I have the biggest and best toy I could have asked for. Make it work for me, and I will forgive this insubordination. However, Bertol will still be punished."
"I was almost killed."
"So?"
"That...thing...it was going to tear me apart. Eat me. And you didn't do anything to save me."
Darza made a sound of audible disgust. "Save yourself then. And right now, this can best be accomplished by doing as I ask before I get angry. Make my new ogre zombie work!"
Vyet got to his feet and shook his head a bit. The ritual was complicated. But he could do it again. Especially for a beast of such...caliber.

He was nearly killed. But he removed his rival. Both Darza and Vyet had more similar days than either of them had imagined.
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PostSubject: Re: The Odyssey of the Penal Company.   Wed 29 Jun 2011 - 19:29

(This brief intermission brought to you by: The Council for Ensuring that One Player Doesn't Win All the Games for the Next Several Weeks.)

Grotkrakka looked over his men. Dem's some good boyz, he thought. Dey good fer a scrap. Six goblins and six orcs looked back at him. Four of the goblins were armed with boys and two with massive iron chunks on chains. Four of his orcs were armed with weighty wood chunks in one hand, and sharp metal bits in the other. His other two orcs were large, and armed with tree branches. “TEN HUT!”

The orcs got into rudamuh...ruddy...red...the orcs got into lines. The goblins got into lines next to them. Grotkrakka marched before the motley. “Dis city 'ere. Dis Mordtown! Dis where we make men outta boyz!”
He stopped in front of one of the goblins. “Shine dat bow!”
He kept walking, and stopped next to a beefy orc who drooled more than average. “You der! Pick da leafs offa dis 'ere club! Dat makes it hit more good! By Gork, I'll make a orc outta yous yet.”
He stood between the two big orcs. “Yous two gun' be Grotkrakka's lieu...big 'uns! Names!”
The drooling orc looked confused. The other one looked at his hands, unclear of what to do, then he dropped his weapon, which clattered to the ground. He gave an orcish salute and said “VRULG, SIR! I GOT NO WHERE ELSE TO GO, SIR!”
Grotkrakka looked him closely, eye-to-eye. “You and dis stupid git my big 'uns. We take dis 'ere Morktown by STORM!”
Grotkrakka looked to the other troops. “You orcs! You be Da Ones What Mash 'Em. Two grotz? You be Da Big Wrekkas. You der shooty grotz? You be...Da Shooty Grotz! Grotkrakka's Mansmakkas MOVE! AAAAAND STEP! Left two free four, up two free four!”
The cunning orc leader looked back to see his troops attempting to follow their orders, and resulting in a tumbled mass of greenskins.

Several days later, Grotkrakka surveyed the city. The lot had managed to make a shelter in a cellar and determined that most of what they had assumed to be treasure in the city were normal bricks. Wyrdstone was harder to find than he had thought. And aside from that, his lads were getting restless. They were fighting each other more and more. At least he had convinced his two officers not to attack anyone else. Vrulg learned quickly enough, but Stupidgit was tougher to convince. Even still, the orc had accepted quickly enough that if he hit the others, Gork would hit him real good. Grotkrakka mused. Gork and Mork is regarded by da dumb orcs as true, da cunnin' orcs as not true, and da bosses as good at makin' da dumb orcs...as true...and da cunnin' orcs... It was at this point that his thought train derailed entirely.

Orcs and Goblins vs. Reiklanders: Ambush!

One of Da Shooty Grotz ran up the stairs to the bell tower of what Grotkrakka called “Da Hammer Building,” due to the stone hammers, pictures of hammers, and other hammer-related icons. He was, however, confused at the amount of benches in the area. It seemed like everyone must have gotten together to look at all the hammers. He admitted that they were nice hammers, but surely there were more useful things the 'umies could do with their time. He looked down at the little goblin. “Wud you want?”
It looked up and squeaked at him. “'Umies!”
“'Mobize da boyz! Let's bash 'em!”

Within a handful of minutes, the greenskins were mobilized and prepared to ambush their quarry. Humans were scattered throughtout the city. Most of them were in high areas, and quite unable to join a scrappin' for a while. Grotkrakka looked over. Two of his goblins were good and crazy. He gave out orders. “Big 'uns, follow me. Ones What Mash 'Em, run at dem. Big Wrekkas, run at dem. Shooty Grotz, run at dem. Den stop an' shoot dem.”
The lot charged and heard the humans give warning calls out. Then the bullets started flying. A virtual hail of them. Grotkrakka turned to see one of his orcs take a bullet to the face and drop to the ground. One of the orcs' compatriots charged a young man, armed with a sword and shield. The man screamed and was dropped to the ground where a goblin descended on him, dagger-in-hand.

Meanwhile, Da Big Wrekkas moved through the city, propelled equally by rage and momentum. They heard a sound nearby and saw a terrified human, with scarcely a hair on his young chin. The man had time enough to say “Sigmar” before a massive iron ball knocked him to the ground and another smashed down on the screaming lad's arm.

As suddenly as it happened, the battle was over. The orcs gathered on Grotkrakka and he checked his men. The orc with the bullet wound to the face got to his feet and smiled a broken-toothed smile. He then looked down at the young man they had taken out. “Take dis 'ere 'umie's sword and shield and bash 'em a bit. Den we leaves.”
He looked out upon the city, hearing a background soundtrack of grunts and whimpers as his men beat the helpless human silly. Some more humans approached. He pulled Vrulg over, as his trusted right-hand orc. “Hold up der, 'umies. Wud you want?”
The small entourage of humans stopped. The leader was a tall man with a smooth voice and a hood over his head. “We're scavenging for people to fight in the pits. Any suggestions?”
“Yeah, dis 'ere 'umie what we beatin' for a bit. 'Ave 'im.”
He saw a smile from under the hood, and led the human over to the poor young man, where Stupidgit looked up, bloodied rock-in-hand. The man had blood on his face. “Dis 'ere 'umie want dat 'umie to fight more. I let 'im 'ave it.”

Orcs vs. Reiklanders: Skirmish

The orcs sat in their basement, with Grotkrakka in his tower when he spied a human running through the street. It stopped at the base of Da Hammer Building, rapped on the door four times, and stopped. Grotkrakka descended down the staircase and approached the door with as much stealth as an orc has, and stopped. He whispered to himself “K, Grotkrakka. Dis our chance to bash dis 'umie good. On free. One. Two FREE!”
He kicked open the door and thrashed in the air for a bit before looking over and seeing that the human was young...and waiting about ten feet away. It looked up and blinked through its dirt-encrusted face. “I'm just a messenger, sir! Please don't kill me!”
Grotkrakka was feeling rather diplomatic. “I'm not a sir, runt! I kill fer a livin'! What you want?!”
“I bring a message from the humans. They await an honorable battle with you, just down the street. They say that if you're man enough for a fight, they're waiting for you.”
With that, the kid's nerve broke and he ran. Grotkrakka thought about it for a bit. “Dey want a scrap? WE BRING DA PAIN!”

The battle lines were drawn. It appeared that they would fight in the same neighborhood they had fought in the other day. Grotkrakka could hear the humans giving out orders. He looked at his guys. “Stupidgit, take Da Shooty Grotz and go round da back of da building. Vrulg, take Da Ones What Mash 'Em and go right up da middle. Big Wrekkas, run at dem. I go with Stupidgit. Make sure he not get lost.”
As honorable as orcs come, now was the time to declare a presence and attempt intimidation. “HEY YOU GUYS! WE GON' BASH YOU RIGHT UP!”

He waited a minute, in anticipation. Then came the response. “This is for Poor Lucky's lost arm! And your foul treatment of Matthew! Have at thee, abomination!”
Grotkrakka had to think of a clever riposte. “ERRR...UP YOURS!”
He looked at his boys. “GO!”
With that, the orc boss rushed off to the left of a series of buildings, following Stupidgit and the four goblin archers.

Vrulg lead his 4 men straight through the city, toward the men. He heard a yelp behind him and noticed that one of his men had been knocked over by a Big Wrecka, which promptly got tangled in its own chain, ending with its tiny head popping off like a grape. He kept pressing his men on as bullets whizzed by. He was sure that there was supposed to be music or something to accompany a massive charge, but someone must need to hire the musician yet. Rounding a tree, one of his men looked back and yelled, before sprinting ahead of the others. Another one turned and hit the other orc with his club, leaving the struck orc berating him. Ahead, a lone orc charged ten gun-toting humans. Vrulg followed and charged a competent-looking one.

Grotkrakka turned the corner to see one of his boyz taking fire. At least seven bullets entered the orc before he dropped. The bullet-ridden orc slowly got to his feet as the two archers that hadn't fallen behind or wandered off fired into the formation of humans. One of them was struck by a goblin arrow and dropped.

Vrulg heard a commotion and turned his head, mid-charge to see a massive iron ball strike into an idol, whipping the tiny goblin into the idol's open mouth with a crunch. He turned back just in time to see a flash and smoke and blackness.

With the massive orcs upon them, the humans either died or were scattered to the four winds. Grotkrakka commanded his guys to gather up for inspection. He walked over to where the goblins had disappeared and noticed one without a head and one that was smashed inside a massive head. Vrulg got up after a good stompin' and the bullet-ridden orc seemed fine. Grotkrakka approached the orc, whose teeth imply that he was the one who had previously been shot in the face. “Oy! Shodinnaface! Yous gon' be wid dese 'ere ladz. Yous be a leader orc! Takin' bullets and showin' a 'umies what orcs is made of!”

That night, the orcs feasted on some food they found in a building. It had a texture like a sack of flour, and could very well have been, but to Grotkrakka, it tasted like victory.
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The Odyssey of the Penal Company.

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