The battle site

It is about 1845 when you depart for the ridge, which is only about a mile
away.  You arrive at the summit of the small hill near 1900, with the desert
sun low in the sky behind you, sending long shadows down the far side of the
hill into the grassland beyond.

Above, scavenging birds still circle, dropping down to various bodies when
the opportunity presents itself.  On the ground, about 20 wild dogs are spread out,
gathered in small groups over different corpses.  The smell of the carnage is not
yet strong, but is noticeable from the hilltop when the wind shifts to the west.

In the valley, you see about 20 bodies, including several horses.  Many of the
bodies have arrows sticking out of them, and a few are blackened and charred. The
ground in some places is charred as well, usually very near such bodies.

Noting your presence, some of the dogs set to growling and whimpering, but none come
any closer, or leave their respective feasts.

Gwar steps to the front of the group and while turning says 
"I will take the lead; give me some space." and starts slowing walking
(stalking) toward the battle site.

As the captain stops at the summit, you can see him observe the 
battle ground very carefully.

Manon rides slowly down on his strong war-horse to the carcasses, scaring away
the wild dogs as he approaches their feast. Here you can see him once again 
studying they ground and the bodies carefully.

As You all enter the valley, Quill becomes very pale. Max suddenly

Quill, after a while, says : " I think we should bury these unfortunate people."

A person appears. He is obviously very strong, but other than that his 
appearance is bland. "This is Roland, they will help with the burial."
Pointing at the dead Quill say's "Are any of you able to give them any
help to the otherworld?" 

With than he walks to the edge of the valley and the ground starts to part
and obvious grave-like holes start to form.

Manon calls out to the summit "Please do not disturb the bodies or 
the footprints here. I am trying to determine what have happened"

"No need for that Sir Manon. I will be able to gain that from the magical
traces that have been left here," Quill looks about, "especially with all
these deaths." With that he shudders.

Dax and Kirion stand off to one side, watching at first, then Kirion follows 
Gwar and Manon, going from body to body, examining them and occasionally picking
something up.  Quill begins casting a number of spells, which include the
disappearance of Max and the appearance of a new, larger person.

Within a few moments, Gwar and Manon have walked around the battle site a
couple of times, and Quill has begun to dig a number of graves, despite the
protests of Gwar and Manon not to disturb the area.  He then begins casting
some other spells.

Quill moves about, digging holes for bodies, then finally moves to the
centre of the battlefield and casts a spell.  He closes his eyes, and begins
slowly looking around him, eyes closed.  He peers first south, then east, then
becomes somewhat excited, looking quickly back and forth all around him.  After a
few moments of this, he resumes his slower rate, finally looking to the north
before opening his eyes.

Quill Opens his eyes. If you look closely you can see them glisten as if
he is about to cry.

In a hollow voice he says
"I am Donald. A soldier of Tix. We are riding on a patrol. We see a group
of pilgrims in this valley. The Captain motions that we are to check them
out. As we arrive I see that they are followers of Sune. The Captain
speaks with one. I don't hear what they are speaking about. Then Alex
suddenly stops and asks a pilgrim a question. Suddenly everything happens
at once. The pilgrim is not what he seems a bow drops from under his
robes, and he says something loudly but I don't understand it. Gorinth and
Hordel are standing near the pilgrims, they are killed. I see them die as
the 'pilgrims' pull out swords and stab upwards into their bodies. They
slide from their horses almost as one. They taught me all I know. How to
hold a sword, and how to hitch the saddle to that it is more comfortable.
Now they are no more. They hit the ground. My horse jumps, and I hold on.
"Circle them" the captain shouts, I try to get my horse to circle and
surround the 'pilgrims'. But it's no use I see a few men trying to break
through a magical shield that the 'pilgrims' have summoned. They all just
stand there and shoot arrows. There goes the Captain, two arrows
protruding from his chest. I turn my horse and try to run. Suddenly I am
lying on the ground. My back is hurting as I see an elven face approach
and I know he will kill me with the knife he is holding."

With a gasp Quill stops.
In a more normal voice he says "I shan't go on. If you wish I can try to
see the emotions of the others. But I'd rather not. The emotions of the
dying are a stain upon me."

Quill walks over to one the soldiers. "Rest well Donald."

"I need some time to compose myself. I will be there." He points to a
small grove. " Roland, put there people into the graves. Obey all that
are here."

With that Quill start to walk away.

Mac starts walking down into the mess. He walks around to each of the bodies
and starts pulling stuff from them. He piles all of their weapons into a 
large pile.

He looks at their armour. And yells to Quill.

"Hey Quill, You need armour. Come over here so we can find you some."

" Nay. I do not wish any armour. I'd rather not cut myself off from the
world." answers Quill.

Manon starts to talk "From what I can determine the battle took place 
two days ago. It appears this light infantry group of twenty soldiers 
and a captain was taken by surprise. Here Quill's spell could tell 
much more than the traces I have tracked."

The count seems to come in to a military style of telling the story:
"From west to east the Tixian group where moving and the 
group of elves from south to north on foot. I would guess you need 
15-30 men on foot to take out a light cavalry of this size as fast 
as it was done. Fighting until they understood they stood no chance 
some Tixian soldiers tried to flee but in vain. The elves took the 
horses that they could catch end left walking single line northwards. 
I can find no elven bodies. Either they lost none or they brought 
their dead with them"

From his inner pocket of his vest Manon produces a blood stained 
letter "This I will keep, if we ever return to Tix so the widows of 
these fallen men will know what happened to them. It only states who 
the man leading the group was and his status in the army; captain in 
the cavalry"

Mac begins systematically going through the corpses and gathering the
weapons that they had. He also appears to be checking out the armour that
they are wearing.

About 10 minutes later Mac has in a pile:

- 21 broadswords in good condition
- 21 large knives in good condition  apparently both of these are standard issue
- 5 short bows 
- 2 regular bows 
- 1 crossbow 
- 1 long bow
- 9 quivers, 80 arrows, 10 bolts
- 30 black arrows, of which 20 are unbroken.  (They are sized for reg/long bows)
- 3 axes
- 3 cheap shortswords
- 10 spears
- 10 lances

"There is also 21 suits of magical armour. If anyone has no armour, like Quill,
we can find you some and then I can repair it for you."

Kai rode with the others to the ridge line overlooking the site.  As he
rode, he unlimbered his crossbow and cranked it to cocked.  Loading a
black bolt from his quiver, he moved to a high point on the ridge line
when asked not to go into the defile until after Manon had finished his
investigation.  Halting his steed there, he sat ahorse, silhouetted
against the skyline, staring into the distance, swaying occasionally as
his mount moved beneath him.

After Quill reports, Kai's voice booms dully "which was the leader the
captain quill" as he turns his horse downhill and begins riding into the

"Here Kai" booms Manon when the huge man comes riding down to the 
small valley. "Here lies the captain, his name was Orothor Agoth."

"Maybe Quill could try the same spell on him if Quill is not too 
strained and stirred?" Sir Ehron continues.

Kirion returns, asking "Is there anyone here who is skilled in
the art of Alchemy?"  He produces a set of 10 potions that he
has found...all unlabeled.  "Perhaps these would be useful.
We assume that these are for healing wounds."

"I am. Let me see them." answers Mac

And then, offering the small sack to his old acquaintance, "Kai?
Perhaps you should have these." says Kirion.

Walking atop his horse down from the ridge line, Kai leans out of his
saddle to pluck the sack from Kirion's grasp. As he moves towards Manon
and the corpse he is indicating, he spreads open the pouch, held at his
hip, while staring out at the horizon.  Reaching the captains, he
cinches it back up, never having looked inside, loops it onto his belt,
and dismounts, dropping to kneel next to the body.

"orothor agoth yet lingers here" says Kai, standing.  With a casual
flick of the wrist he launches the bag Kirion gave him in Mac's
direction, continuing "if there is some question you would put him
captain i will ask it of him"

"I can not think of anything I might have to ask our dead captain. 
Perform your magic and we will see what happens" Manon answers.

"Hrrrmm... Dear friends, we are acting like mere grave robbers here. I 
am not happy robbing dead soldiers of their equipment and valuables." 
Manon grumbles. 

You are surprised. Up till now you have never seen Manon angry, not
even concerned, but this obviously disturbs the count.

"I for one would not like to be robbed after my death by strangers 
that seek only to enrichen themselves!" he continues.

"Normally I would even object to disturb the souls of fallen heroes, 
but the situation being what it is I can agree with it. But taking 
these men's equipment is crossing the line"

With this the captain leads Thunder away and is interested no more 
in the looting and division of equipment.

Kai stands in the "at ease" position, legs apart, crossbow at quarter
arms, turning left to right and back again at the hips with his head
turning slightly faster, with an economy of motion that brings his
viewpoint as far one direction as it will go just as his body has
reached its maximum turn point, then back again the other way at the
same exacting rate.  Once it looks smooth, a second time practised, but
by the third the exact sameness of the motion begins to look somehow
spooky, when it keeps on time and again it begins to look inhuman...

Gwar begins moving northward, following the tracks left by the horses and
victors in the battle.  Within a few minutes, he is a few hundred meters 

Beren remains on the ridge with his mount and Manon's, and Dax has come down
into the battle sight to have a look around, though he has said nothing.

"spirit of orothor agoth take root again in your body and speak with us"
drones Kai, kneeling once more.  "what can we do to free you from this

Gwar is now a few hundred meters to the north, tracking.  Mac is finishing 
up with the gathering of weapons and equipment in a pile twenty meters or so
from the dead Captain.  Manon has returned to the hillside with Beren and 
their mounts.  Kai, Kirion, and Quill are gathered around the body of the dead
Captain.  Finally, Dax is looking around the battle sight, bending to investigate
tracks here and there.  It is now beginning to grow dark, as the sun has receded
behind the ridge, silhouetting Manon and Beren as they watch the rest of the group
below.  The time is nearing 1930, and the sun will actually set around 2030.

Mac walks over to the pile of equipment, pulls something out of his pack that, to 
those of you who have magery, glows brightly. He makes a quick movement
and vanishes. 

About 10 minutes later Mac reappears in the same spot. He say nothing.

When Mac disappears, the pile of gear does as well.  When he returns, it
does not.

Manon watches the surrounding area. Wondering if it is suitable to
camp here.

Kai kneels again at the side of the Tix army captain's corpse, and lifts
it in his arms, stands, and carries it to one of the graves Max has been
digging, and lowers it within.  He turns away, walks back to his horse,
mounts, and rides over to Quill, addresses him, and then rides up the
hillside to join Manon.

Riding up the hill to join Manon, Kai's blank stare and manner belie his
apparent urgency as he drones out "the spirit of that band's captain
lingered on until i pledged to both warn tix and pursue that band of
elven ambushers in his stead  it is my hope that quill's created men can
do the former while we fulfil the latter  since we have had no clear
mission till this i hope you will join me and form our own band to this
noble mission"

Quill leaves the grove of trees that he was in. "Sorry but the emotions of
the dead are very intense. They spill over into our world."

Quill continues ,"My servants could carry a written message of some sort, but
wouldn't be very good to use as messengers, as they lack any intelligence.  
Also, they only exist while I will them to, so anything that breaks my 
concentration would certainly destroy the messenger.  What do you suggest?"

This said, Kai turns his steed to ride towards Gwar. 

"Kai, I will join you for this mission." Manon proclaims.

Mac looks around at what is going on since he left. He walks up the hill
to the area where Manon and Kai are located. He stops and looks first up
at Manon.

"Manon, I intended no disrespect of these soldiers, nor am I robbing them
of their possessions. It is safer to have them behind us without their 
weapons, if someone was following, we are doing them a great favour of
leaving them a contingent of weapons. I did not take them to turn a coin."

"Dear Mac. I am glad to hear these words." Manon answers "I might 
have been a bit to swift to judge your actions." Gently stroking 
Thunder's mane Manon continues. "I am extremely curious what you did 
with the gear and how you manage to disappear with it and return only 

"I have a wand which will take me to a predetermined place in the mountains,
which I have a place to stash things and hide when necessary. It took
myself and the weapons and I put the weapons in another area and came back.

It is very useful. I try not to overuse the magic, just in case it 
fails me, but thus far it hasn't"

Mac turns to face Kai looks around and motions Quill to join us. When Quill
arrives Mac asks both,
" Do either of you have a spell that will prevent these corpses from being
turned to zombies? I would prefer to burn their corpses and release their
souls to the sky than bury them behind us, corpses intact."

"I have no way of ensuring the dead do not rise, but once buried, they will
be less likely to be discovered." Quill says.

Quill continues, "I think that if any wished to raise then and force the dead
to walk then they would not have too much trouble to find others that could be
killed. I do not wish to hurt the dead."

"Let us leave. I have no wish to meet any other patrols. They may assume
that I help in killing these poor souls. Since I am an elf. As to sending
a message to Tix, This is a good thing, but we would need one of us, or
perhaps a farmer from somewhere near. Does any of you know of any farming
communities about. I have no wish to go to Tix and say that an elf party 
has killed off one of their patrol." Quill concludes.

Manon turns his horse and follows Kai.

Quill helps Roland finish burying the remainder of the bodies, moving the
earth to cover their bodies, while the rest of the group, with the exception
of Kirion, moves off to the north to discuss matters.
The story continues...
Back to index.