Monday, May 13, 2013

Session 11: FINALLY, an honorable foe!

The battle has begun.  One row of Amazons fights the mountain tribesmen in hand to hand combat while a second row of Amazons protects Shangor and fires arrows at the tribesmen that have boarded the Blue Arrow and those that remain on the war canoe.  Some of the tribesmen continue to fire their bows at the Amazons from the canoe but they are distracted by the dire wolf that Sul’khaz has summoned amongst them.  Hawk marks the tribesmen’s leader as her opponent.  The warrior in the gray fox cloak readily accepts Hawks challenge.  The Amazons and the mountain tribesmen move to attack.
The Battle Begins

The battle has just barely begun when Sylph moves forward and invokes her magical power of distraction which impairs the fighting ability of all of the men around her.  
The Power of Sylph renders men useless in battle!

Gray Fox, the leader of the tribesman swings his axe wildly and as her curses his enemies as dishonorable for resorting to cowardly and foul sorcery to win the fight.  Hawk yells at him to step back and he will able to see clearly.  
The Battle Rages

He does so and finds that Hawk speaks the truth.  Hawk moves forward and the mountain warriors move to attack her but Gray Fox orders them to stand aside and let her through.  Together Hawk and Gray Fox move to bow of the ship and they begin their deadly dance.  Hawk finds herself smiling.  Finally, Hawk faces an honorable opponent, so unlike the cowardly Drunn the Gorgon or Kumal the Smiling.  As she narrowly avoids and an axe blow that should have disemboweled her, she openly declares that she is enjoying this. 

Finally!  Hawk fights a foe with honor

Sul’khaz attempts to jump on board the war canoe but he slips on the wet shipboards and falls in between the ships.  The ships move and bounce as Sul’khaz cries out in pain as his body is ground between the two vessels.  Ignoring the danger, Shangor runs past his guards and pulls Sul’khaz to safety. 
In the meantime, Katrina has managed to sink the two remaining war canoes before they can recover and re-enforce the tribesmen currently trying to take the Blue Arrow.  With that task completed, she takes up her bow and fires at the tribesmen, usually at the ones that are just in front of her dear friend Sylph in the off chance that she might accidently put an arrow into “the whore.” 

Sylph’s magic does much to turn the tide of battle against the tribesmen as twice she unleashes her sorcery upon them, rendering them almost useless in battle.  Despite the distraction, one of the mountain warriors manages to wound Sylph and four of the Amazons fall in the battle. 

Axe and sword meet at the bow of the ship as Hawk and Gray Fox battle.  There is a growing mutual respect growing between the two of them.  Grey Fox realizes that he is no match for Hawk but still he fights on until finally Hawk’s ancient Gorgon Blade finds a way through his defenses and cleaves his heart in two.  Dying, he embraces Hawk and tells her to take his fox cloak and wear to it proudly.  He also asks that she do him the honor of burying him in ground high above the shore instead of dumping his body into the river.  She agrees as a single tear rolls down the side of her check from her remaining eye.  

Gray Fox falls and Hawk, his slayer, morns over him.

As the rest of the crew rejoices in their victory, Hawk mourns her fallen foe.  As the Amazons clean up the carnage of the battle, Hawk takes Gray Fox’s body to shore to honor his request.  

Sul’khaz and Sylph mack out while Hawk weeps

One of the Amazons (played in the battle by Sylph’s player) throws her bow overboard as twice she hit her sisters in the battle, including Cassandra, the leader of the Amazons.  With the battle won, the Blue Arrow continues its voyage to Teluk’Ammar. 

The royal party arrives in Teluk’Ammar and they are greeted by a number of dignitaries and the warrior Jirro.  “I am Jirro, Maquen of Teluk’Ammar. The Shah apologizes for not being here in person, but his many duties have kept him at the palace. He asked me to escort you there. We have brought horses, if you’d like to ride. It is a short trip to the palace.”  Marduk whispers to Shangor that the title Maquen means “General of the Calvary” He also tells him that Jirro is Tokarim Shah’s nephew and his right hand. 

A number of horses are brought for the royal party to ride.  One of them, a magnificent white stallion stands out.   “This is Cloud,” Jirro says. “The best horse in my stables. I hope you can ride it into many battles. Consider it my personal gift.” Then, a one-eyed warrior gives the Maquen his horse so that he can personally deliver the gift to Ulesir Shah. “Thanks, Ruman Gask,” says Jirro.  Jirro is able to do so despite being distracted by Sylph. 

Jirro speaks little but is courteous to the group but everyone quickly figures out that the holds no love for Ulesir Shah, or, in the reality, Shangor.  Despite this, the party moves on towards the palace. 

Many people have come forth the see Ulesir, Shah of Shan’Ammar.  Many want to touch his cloak or to receive his blessing.  Then, the unexpected happens. A dog slips past the guards and starts barking at Prince Ulesir’s horse. Cloud’s reaction is extreme. The mighty beast rears up, whinnying and kicking out. A soldier riding next to Ulesir is thrown out of his saddle. At this point the beast runs toward the crowd, while everyone desperately tries to get out of harm’s way. Panic breaks out as Cloud bolts into the crowd……
Until next time….

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