Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Rescue of What's-Her-Name: Part 2

Rallis fired twice more, missing once, but wounding another orc. From behind him, Melkor, who’d been chanting softly, suddenly raised his arms, eldritch energy playing around his hands. A ball of fire formed in front of him, and with a shout, he hurled it forward into the oncoming orcs. Just before detonation, Melkor glanced around. “Uh, did we ever come to an agreement on spell components? Just so we’re working on the same page?”

With a groan, the orcs slowed and stopped. A few orcs accidentally knocked their fellows over, and others took nasty cuts from being poked with weapons. The fireball sat in the midst of several orcs, who stared at it nervously as it hissed and sputtered in mid-air. The orc shaman elbowed his way to the front and began a conversation with the mage.

Everybody waited as Melkor and the orc shaman continued their talk. Lars glanced around and then started inching forward.

“Lars! Get back where you were!” Rallis shouted, pointing a nocked arrow at him. Lars grumbled, but went back. The orcs jeered at him, with many a rude gesture and raspberries.

“Oh yeah?” Lars said. “Just come on over here.” He dropped his axe and began making rude gestures back.

“Okay,” finished Melkor, as he and the shaman walked back to their places. “If that’s the way you want to play it. I guess I better stock up on guano.”

The fireball exploded, incinerating the nearest orcs, though several more were set afire to die more slowly, smoldering on the green grass. The remaining orcs came on, heedless of their losses. A sling bullet stretched another orc senseless, to be trampled by his brethren. The front ranks reached the adventurers as the ranger pulled back, firing arrows with amazing speed. A massive orc, its arms and chest covered in the scars of dozens of battles, ran straight at Tamra, his scimitar in a two-handed grip, screaming a guttural war-cry. Just as he was about to swing, the orc skidded to a stop. The orc and half-elf stared at one another for a second, and then the young half-elven woman glanced over at Coryn.

“Do I go now?”


She looked back at the orc, who was waiting patiently. She shrugged, smiling. “I’ve never done this before. Eri . . . Coryn’s my boyfriend and he really wanted me to play.” Tamra brought her shield up, and then peering over the rim, jabbed tentatively at the orc with her long sword. The orc shook his head. He walked over to stand beside her, then mimed holding up a shield with his left hand, while pulling back with his scimitar. He stamped forward, bellowing, swinging the scimitar in a vicious arc. Then he motioned to her. Tamra imitated his pose, and then swung her sword. He nodded, and then moved back to his original position.

With a scream, he resumed his charge, scimitar above his head. Tamra raised her weapon, waited until the orc was almost upon her, and then shouted “Hi-yaaaaa!” and slashed downwards. The sword caught the orc warrior in the shoulder, cleaving downwards into his chest. Blood sprayed as he staggered and fell, almost twisting the weapon from her hand. The orc hit the ground, his weapon skittering away. As the feral light left his eyes, he managed to raise his right hand in a thumbs up, and then died.

“Hot damn! A 20!” shouted Coryn, as he ran over to kiss her. “Nice shot!” The rest of the orcs politely applauded, and then readied themselves as Coryn jogged back into place.

“Come on ya gutless wonders!” shouted Lars, as the orcs closed upon him. “I’ll give ya what for!” The first orc leapt at him, spear aimed at his throat. With a speed that belied his size, Lars sidestepped, his massive axe cutting the orc in half with one swipe. A thrown spear also missed, but a wiry orc with a saw-toothed short sword darted in, slashing the barbarian across the side. “Ow!” roared the northerner. “Hey, how could he hit me? Orcs ain’t that tough!”

Coryn, locked in mortal combat with an orc, their faces inches apart, each straining to push the other over and deliver the finishing blow, looked over. “Not again!” He turned back to the orc. “I can’t believe this; he does this every single time he takes damage.” The orc rolled his eyes and nodded. The orc shaman, obviously flustered, shouldered his way forward through his followers and began talking with the barbarian.

“Hey, what’s up?” asked the halfling, as he peeked out from behind a tree.

“Lars is whining again,” said Melkor.

“Oh, yeah!” Lars half-yelled at the shaman. “We’ll just see!” He dropped his axe and yanked off his backpack, then began rummaging through it. Pulling out a battered rulebook, he began flipping through the pages.

“Well, this’ll take a while.” Melkor pulled a pizza box out of nowhere and flipped it open. “I’m gonna eat the last Hawaiian.” Bobbin began playing with the cat, while Coryn wandered over to Tamra and they shared a Coke as he explained what goblins were. Rallis pulled out a hackeysack and he and several orcs formed a circle. After about ten minutes of intense conversation with the shaman, Lars finally shoved the manual back into his pack and picked up his axe.

“And?” asked Rallis.

“He said that all rules are only suggestions and that if he wanted to beef up the orcs then he could.” Lars kicked the pack out of the way and got back into a fighting stance as the orc shaman once again took up his position at the back of the horde. The orcs quickly reformed their charge, with much jostling and changing of places. The adventurers got back into their positions, and then the fight started again.


Ed said...

Not to mention, unless the orcs are *really* level inappropriate, they *do* have some chance to hit, even if it isn't much. So at least 5% of the time, but probably more, that the orcs swing at Lars, they're going to hit him.

Jason Janicki said...

Yes, but some players just feel a need to complain, regardless :)

When players do that, that's when you smile and add a handful more enemy miniatures to the table :)