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 Pieces On A Board

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Number of posts : 761
Registration date : 2007-04-26

PostSubject: Pieces On A Board   Mon 13 Aug - 13:52:38

Pieces On A Board

Ever felt like you are just a piece in a vast game of celestial chess played for the delight and diabolic pleasure of vast daemonic beings* who seek only to complicate and torment our existence on this mortal plane? No? Then you are clearly not a member of my party of unfortunates, caught as we are in a web of confusion, deceit and intrigue that makes the average John Le Carre look like a child’s picture book.

*Probably called something deceptively innocuous like, I don’t know, Sam?

You may recall that through no fault of our own we had been manoeuvred into a situation that resulted in our being sentenced to death by the Horde. The Horde ambassador very kindly explained to us over cocktails and ferrero roche that the only way to avoid this fate would be to assist Jania Proudmoore who was experiencing a problem with a few rebels and the rather tiresome Brood of Inixir, whose recent attack on the town we had only lately (accidentally of course), engineered.

The difficulty with dealing with the brood was that the obvious anti dragon allies available, the two headed ogre clan the Rockheads, were currently in danger of being wiped out by a rival clan, the Stonemalls, who in their single headed way had decided that two heads were better than one only when adorning a trident, pitchfork or similar multi pronged device.

At least we were give a map of the marshes before being booted out, our next task was to find a guide to Dustwillow marsh. In time honoured style we visited the nearest pub, the Wench’s Jugs, finding it bursting with humanity and bar keeps vending extortionately price beverages. Furthermore, most of the patrons were the very flower of humanity, that is extremely unhappy at the incursion of a number of orcs, gnomes and worse that inevitably marked our arrival.

After a fruitless and expensive conversation with the bar tender, whose customer care credentials were impressive only by their total absence, I was accosted by one of the rare non human customers. Quite how he was managing to enjoy an establishment whose idea of hospitality to non humans was an offer of a last cigarette before execution, was a mystery to me. Perhaps the fact that he was nine feet tall helped him integrate seamlessly with the smaller races.

The Night elf, for such he was, introduced himself as the Keeper of the Light and offered me a potion of forgetfulness as a means to ease my pain. Now frankly I was thinking more along the lines of some soothing ointment, but he was very insistent in an unsettling way. I politely declined his offer explaining that we were only looking for a guide to the marshes. He said that he was not for hire but that he did spend much time in the marshes gathering herbs.

He went over and began talking to Kasbar’s new companion/apprentice/slut and it seemed he was talking about soothing her pain too. Everyone else he seemed to ignore as much as he himself was being ignored. We had a quick huddle and tactically re-evaluated and decided to try accepting the offer.

When it came to discussing price the elf announced he wanted me to identify an item and handed me a globe of liquid which I assessed to be pure water. Asserting as much, I was puzzled to discover that this constituted a pass.* I then drank the proffered potion which had no effect on me other than to cause me to forget everything for the past two days. In fact, everything I have recounted here was reconstituted from a detailed narrative explained to me at length by Plainsweaver who took particular pains to stress that I had never possessed a second spell book of any description. I found this somewhat puzzling.

*About as difficult as the driving theory test then

We agreed to rendezvous with our new found guide the next day and considered our intelligence overnight. Did we proceed against the rebels to the north where they had taken the prison holding their comrades a few weeks before.? The rebels no doubt had many agents and spies in town and carried out regular attacks, assassinations and sabotage. The rebels seemed factionalised, linked with anti alliance terrorist group Defias. Their shadowy leader may or not be an ex elite guardsman Daniel Griffiths.

To strike them we’d need support of the militaristic Stonemall ogres, but they were busy concentrating on a violent dispute with the Rockheads. Plainsweaver suggested we could take the head of the slain dragon to impress the martial ogres into following our plans, but I theorised we could possibly persuade them just by some sort of combat trial, perhaps combined with some sort of flattery scheme utilising our infinitely superior intellects.

The Rockheads on the other side had already asked us for assistance against the Brood. With the recently killed dragon, perhaps now was the time to move south to Drashill Gorge. With the magic firepower of the two headed ogre magi we might have the resources, but our reports of the Rockheads had them as pacifists, unwilling even to get embroiled with those out to get them, and we had already seen evidence of the volatility and unreliability of their powers.

Added to the mix to the south west, a goblin colony has sprung up in recent years, and as we know, goblins are tricky little $%**X£”XX’s. We decided Stonemall first. Meeting up with the Light Keeper* we experienced the unusual phenomenon again where everyone including the city guards ignored him, and us. We weren’t even asked for our non existent passes without which we supposedly could not leave the city.

*Imagine Fulton Mackay nine feet tall and Muppet free

With Puderillo overhead scouting we headed west by circuitous routes until we reached the Stonemall camp. The Night elf and gnomes agred to meet up with us in a couple of hours assuming we were still alive and we entered the ogre camp. Here I deployed my strategy, which was to butter up tribal chief Mok’Morrok along the following lines:

• We were travellers who had come a great distance to meet the great Mok
• For we were aware of a prophecy that foretold that he would put aside his war with the Rockheads and win great glory destroying the rebels

Brilliant eh? I planned to adapt whatever happened to fit the prophecy, after all what ogre leader could resist the lure of greatness? This one: It didn’t work. Mok did however did react to an old fashioned challenge from our noble beast and they dropped into a conveniently situated fighting pit to resolve their differences. Gentle Tauren that he is, Plainsweaver declined to attack the chief by surprise, and was knocked flat and seriously injured by his opponent’s first blow. He frantically healed himself as I distracted Mok with a pistol shot and Fuq’Wit sent an arrow into the ogre seriously injuring him.

This caused him to yield and pack-like the ogres now accepted our plan. We set off with an attractively named ogre called Gobbb and headed back east to meet with the Rockheads. The Rockheads seemed indifferent to the news that we brought peace in our time. They were more worried about problems with the goblins who were giving them grief and had mechanical creatures resistant to their magics. They agreed to assist us against the Brood if we toasted the goblins for them.

One incident of note to report as this chapter draws to a close; a nocturnal giant spider attack which was seen off by combined efforts of everyone except Plainsweaver who dozed through it. I got a couple of blows in but Fuq’ Wit as is becoming customary delivered the coup de grace.

To cut a long story short, we took revenge on goblin kind with ogre assistance, so we now have the promise of allies to achieve both of our objectives (until of course the goal posts move again!) We adjourned to a local hostelry at the western edge of the marsh, only to find it destroyed and body strewn. A few pieces of Alliance insignia found and melted bits of gold. Perhaps things would look better in the morning.

If better involves being captured and trussed up over night, we awoke to find things much better…Those daemonic torturers have clearly just moved another couple of big pieces on their board. Bastards!

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