Outlaws

The First to Go

He knelt down, barely able to hold his own weight. Sweat pouring down his face mixing with the blood that stained his tabard. Defiantly, he pressed the hilt of his axe into the blood-soaked dirt below him and lifted himself to his feet.

“She’s coming back around!” He heard a comrade scream.

He braced himself as he heard the sound like a tornado coming towards him. He lifted his shield just in time to deflect the killing blow, but without his full strength his portable fortress was ripped away, breaking his arm in the process.

He looked across the field, the sounds of war echoing around him. His closest friend, a mere stone’s throw away, lie in a deep scarlet pool. The sight unbearable. He remembered when they first met; dodging the law in order to seek adventure. Dain was quite the drinker.

Amlaan swung his axe once more in a defiant arc that would’ve easily cleaved a dragon’s head in its might, but against such an adversary as this, his great Waraxe merely severed the air. He felt the power behind the blow one more time as his opponent knocked him to the ground with such force, he now lay in a crater.

He heard the flapping of wings and opened his eyes to look upon his murderer. She hovered there proud and he spat at her feet with all the strength he could muster, though it merely landed beneath her.

Amlaan snarled, “You bitch! You’ve no place to…” His defiance was cut off by her foot on his throat.

She chuckled, “Don’t worry, you’re not finished yet, you’ve got a tough job ahead of you.”

Her beautiful smile sickened Amlaan as she raised her sword.

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Threll, the Untied

“Try not to think anything…threatening…” Ryan said, unsure of how to explain himself.

Leo tried not to look confused.

“Wha-Okay! I just want some grass, man,” He said.

“Alright, but don’t,” Ryan said, after he gave him a stern look.

Leo, now even more confused, tried even harder not to look so, but looked more constipated than he believed he was.

“I’m cool maaaaan!” Leo replied.

“Alright, down under the bridge hear the memorial cemetary.” Ryan turned back to his drink.

43.78935 minutes later

“It’s like a flower, grown of a thousand murdered corpses!” Threll exclaimed in his depressing manner.

“What?” Leo couldn’t hide his confusion anymore.

“I…what?”

Threll glared at Leo, his rubbery slimy skin glistening in the soft candle-light.

“Get down…” Threll whispered.

Leo looked around.

GET DOWN!!!” Threll jumped at Leo grabbing hold of him and dragging him to the dirty mold covered floor.

Leo let out a ‘manly’ scream, “EEEEEEK!”

“There’s no way out man! They’re everywhere! Those damn dogs are gonna take us all out! I love you man! It’s been an honor, George!” Threll screamed in Leo’s ear.

“Momma?” Threll sobbed.

“What’s goin on, man?!” Leo cried.

“It’s the bombs, man! The Bombs!” Threll yelled.

Immediately after deafening Leo, Threll casually stood up, walked to his chair, and sat down.

“Grass, then?” Threll reached into his cloak and pulled out a small green pouch.

Leo lay on the ground terrified, unable to speak.

Threll nonchalantly passed the pouch over to Leo.

“25 gold, human,” Threll growled.

Leo, shaking, reached into his pocket and turned it out. Gold coins fell to the floor.

“Kkk…k…keep it…” Leo managed to say, at last.

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Friends
If only.....

Rugala doesn’t understand….

This world sooo mean. No one cares. No one loves. Only fight, hunt, kill. Rugala’s heart hurts, wants, needs. Need family, friend, maybe even friends. This world so ugly, like Rugala. Everyone stares and screams when Rugala enters. Rugala different than the pretty little elf people. Rugala can not remember ever seeing someone like her, big, green, ugly. They tell Rugala that I am not full Orc, only half. Rugala never seen an Orc. Rugala only knows elf people. They nice, give food, make clothes, give cave to sleep in. Only cave had bad snakes. Rugala kill bad snakes and eat their meat. Good meat, nice and juicy.

Rugala had friends. We fight mean dragons together. Rugala save some even, but they left. They always leave Rugala. So Rugala is alone, again. But I move, must keep moving. There must be someone like Rugala, must be people who need Rugala, can love Rugala. Rugala will find her fit. Rugala will protect them, love them, kill for them…. DIE for them.

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Justice
Raising A Child For Good

… 13 Years Ago
“Sir … It’s a bloodbath out in there Sir. There appear to be no survivors.”
“Keep looking … there has got to be someone in there, an entire town doesn’t just get slaughtered overnight someone had to have heard the others and ran off, hidden, something.”
“I’ll do my best sir.”
It was a cloudy night during a full moon and this small village sitting quietly on the outskirts of the Orc lands was now nothing more then a graveyard.I’ve just been put in charge of a group of new recruits and this was the first assignment they gave me, I suppose it had something to do with the fact that my old friend Kon was the default protector of the town. Who would have thought a Half-Orc Barbarian and a Half-Elf Paladin would become best friends. Kon and I had seen it all, adventuring when there were no adventurers. It was because of my belief that everyone deserves a chance for justice, a chance to answer for your actions. I was a new recruit and we broke up a tavern fight. Kon had taken offense at some song a local Bard was singing. Kon was very obviously drunk, a great feat taking into account Kon’s immense size, I swear it was like trying to detain a Bear. Anyways after we took him in he told us that he could not pay for the damages he caused at the Inn, he’d spent it all on drinks. My fellow Paladins were all set to toss him in the Lock up for a few nights until he could pay for his crimes when my commander pulled me aside and said “Radik, I see alot of potential in this guy, a little slow witted and he’s a little out of control but if we can keep this guy on the right path he can do great things”
“I agree sir”, I said with hesitation.
“He needs a balancing force in his life.”, he said eyeing me over.
“Agreed sir”
“You’ve been quite eager to get out there and prove yourself”
“Yes sir”
“Well soldier heres your chance to prove yourself to Obad Hai, if you can turn this big guy into a functioning member of society you will have done your mission”
“Sir with all do respect I was thinking that maybe I could erm … possibly um-”
“Rad you need this just as much as he does we need to get you out of your damn shell if you’re going to be a great soldier, now this guy looks like he’s been around the block now you two are going to head out and …”
Thats how my adventures with Kon started and I was mistaken we learned many many things from each other over the years, I hadn’t heard from him in quite awhile I went back to work for my Paladin Brethren when we were called to the site. He had been adopted as a protector of this town so he settled down found a nice half-orc to settle down with, I heard he even had a child.
SIR SIR COME QUICK WE FOUND A CHILD
It couldn’t be … could it. I ran, I ran like there was no tomorrow, fearing what I was about to see. There it was just outside the doorway his signature throwing axe. This was definitely the his house as I came inside a break in the clouds came in through the window the new recruit was holding the the crying Half-Orc infant in the shadows. “Give me the child!” I said more sternly then I’ve ever stated anything, “Is there any sign of his parents!”
“There is a female in the back sir … very badly mauled … the worst I’ve seen thus far.” he said as he handed me the child.
“What about a father, have you found his father?!”
“No sir nothing, we did find these with the baby”
He handed me a small stone and a note that simply read “JUSTICE”. I wasnt sure what had happened but something had gone very seriously wrong. How could Kon have simply vanished from this town that he had protected for so long. I whispered to the child who had calmed down after I cradled him in my arms “Who did this … Who?”
The baby stared at me with the deepest stare I had ever seen as if this child had seen and done more in his short lifetime then me. I brought him into the light to get a better look at his injurys which were very minor and superficial consider the carnage around him. He simply had four claw-marks across his face, thats it. It was at that moment however that things began to change the boy began to change. Muscles grew and the black hair covering his head was spreading all over his body. His mouth moved outward into a snout and I could see teeth like I’d never seen on a child before. It took me a brief moment to realize what exactly had happened but when I did I knew that Obad Hai would soon be very, very proud.

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"Two Deaths as one"

The air was cold, street as dark as the ocean’s deepest depths, and the town was as quiet as the sleeping dead in their coffins. One lone figure, garbed in the most cimmerian black hooded cloak, stood at the end of the street brooding over the idea to enter the town at this late hour.

Not one street lamp, window, or tavern doorway cast light on this street. “He is here. He must be. This is the exact discription of the town and street that the old hag gave me. She might have been pulling my leg, but… no, no she was sincere,” were some of the thoughts that crossed this figure’s mind. His mind froze on the second to last word “was” for a long instant and a slight line of white appeared where a mouth must have been.

With clothes as black as the feathers of a raven, the lone figure took his first step on to the street and into town. The figure’s steps were light almost as if he were not wearing or weighed nothing. Zero dirt, no dust, not even a stray piece of lint littered this figure’s person. Any sane man would not hesitate to give this figure a wide girth when passing him in the street.

“Two Deaths as one” is the most sacred pact among the Githzerai people. Not many have really known the depth of such a spiritual and mental commitment. The pact means the person that made the pact would take a blow for the other all the way up to and including death. One way someone might tell that the pact had been upheld is by inspecting the eyes of the living half. The living half would have pure golden eyes, which had changed from the usual grey or black.

The black cloaked figure tilted his head up just slightly to look at the sleeping town and with the slightest nod, darted to the nearest building and silently climbed the wall to the roof. Now, if there had been anyone from the youngest child to the oldest elder watching this figure he would have seen a glint of golden appear and disappear from under the hood of this figure. However, not a soul, save one, was watching and that was the first mistake.

One, two, three, four, jump one, two buildings over and down the alley. Memorizing the drawn map of the town and buildings was part of the careful preperation that had taken place before arriving. Zerch, the black cloaked figure, would see this act through with every bone in his body. The soul was a terrible thing to loose and Zerch had most definately lost his. What was left of his outer shell had commited itself to killing one person.

“Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life as you choose. Anything less is a form of slavery,” was one of the idioms that Zerch repeated in his head for solice and focus. “Two Deaths as one,” was the reason for this death. Approaching the wooden doorway to the next life or to a life of slavery, Zerch did not hesitate in openning it. Zerch was aware of an ancient saying by his people, “no battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” Anything can happen.

The room was dark, just like the outside world in which Zerch just came from, however this did not affect Zerch in any way. The sweet smell of hay and Githyanki hit Zerch like a punch across his chin. Laying in front of him was a family of 4 Githyanki, two children around the ages of five and seven, and two adults in the same cot enjoying the warmth from each other during their restful slumber.

Zerch stood there for a minute mouthing a “thank you” to the darkness where no one could see, however if one were to guess it must have been to the hag that had given him his prize.

“An eye for an eye, you took my wife so I shall take your’s!” Shouted Zerch, however Zerch had not brandished any weapons of any sort. The Githyanki family all woke up immidiately with a scared and startled look on their faces except for the adult male, who had jumped from the bed instantly.

“Zerchai, how did I know you would be back to haunt my steps? Let me look at you…” the Githyanki male started from the black boots and scanned over the body of Zerch stopping on the eyes. At that moment the Githyanki male’s eyes openned wide and a look of amusement crossed his face. “So you have come to do to me, what I did to you?”

“Yes, you need to feel what I have felt. Experience what I have Experienced. And above all come to know what I have known. You will weep in the end,” stated Zerch as he closed the door behind him.

A few moments past and with that furious blows between the two men, who seem to know each other from another life. At the end of it Zerch had come out ontop with the Githyanki male face down in a pool of his blood, however still breathing.

Zerch pulled an engraved Kama from the folds of his cloak and in one fluid motion pinned the female adult Githyanki to the wall with the engraved Kama against her throat. He sat there for awhile staring straight into the eyes of this soon to be dead women and thought “two deaths as one.”

“I release you from this life of slavery into the freedom that each of us will see at the end,” and with that said Zerch moved the Kama across the throat and let the female Githyanki fall to the floor. The next second was a blur to him, however he returned to the outskirts of the town and looked back and then down at his Kama that was still in hand.

“Two Deaths as One” was the phrase that was engraved on the Kama…

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The Way Things Are

“There they are!” Samuel’s little hand tugged on his mother’s dress, his wide eyes glazed over with astonishment. “They’re the ones! They’re the adventurers!”
His mother, who had been sweeping the porch of their house before Samuel ran up excited, felt her cheeks fill with blood as she blushed, “Samuel! We don’t want to associate with them!” She quickly grabbed the boy by the arm and took him inside their small house.
“Mom! They’re not bad! I want to be…” Samuel’s voice trailed off when he saw a man sitting at the table.
“Hello, Samuel,” the man’s voice was deep and powerful yet kind.
Samuel didn’t reply. He never knew his own father and was generally shy around anyone except for his mother.
“Adventurers…” the man sighed, clearly annoyed at the thought. “They’re so romanticized. Now, I know you’re having a hard time getting along with the other children in town, but you need to remain pure. It’s your duty.”
“Yes father,” Samuel replied. “I didn’t start it though!”
The priest gave him a stern look.
“I think you’re old enough to know excuses mean nothing. It’s the choices you make that end up making you who you are and who you will be.” He stood from his seat, “I’ve been talking to your mother, and she agreed to allow you to live with the Knights.”
Samuel’s face lit up. “Really!?”
“You don’t have to go Samuel, but it’s your choice,” his mother interjected with hesitation.
“I want to, I want to!” Samuel grew more excited but regained his composure, “Yes father, I would like that.”
The priest headed to the door, “Then we leave in the morning. You mustn’t bring any of your belongings.” He left without another word.
Samuel was too excited to do anything but simply spout gibberish about his future accomplishments, he’s gonna fight a dragon, he’s gonna defeat demons! “NO, no, LEGIONS! Legions of demons!” He was too excited to notice his mother’s stifled tears.
“You’re…You’re gonna be great honey,” His mother spoke at last.
“Why are you crying, mom? I’m gonna be the best! I’ll visit you all the time,” Samuel’s little 8 year old voice made his mother choke up as she tried to speak again.
Samuel smiled up at his mother, “Don’t worry, mom. It’s just the way things are.”

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